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Pathological Russophobia
and sociopathic Carthago delenda est
(Carthage must be destroyed)
attitude of the US elite toward Russia

Who Rules America > Neoconservatism >
News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links British roots of US Rusoophobia Cold War II Perfidious Albion
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning History of American False Flag Operations DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Nulandgate Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars The Rape of Russia
British poisoning false flags MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Obama: a yet another Neocon Professor Steven Cohen Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Net hamsters
Neoliberal Compradors Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Magnitsky case Navalny's Saga
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment America and the Imperial Project Demonization of Putin Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nemtsov assassination
Color revolutions The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Russian Color Revolution of 2012 From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Pussi Riot Provocation American Exceptionalism "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Brain Drain
Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Economics of Peak Energy Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Etc


Introduction

The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
 will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China

This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were  influenced by Professor  Stephen F. Cohen

Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. It is form of social control of US population. Energy scapegoating is an important part of Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda.  Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and is practiced when the elite experience difficulties now in 2016. That's why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream.  Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in starting from 70th.  But with the crisis of neoliberalism (2008  and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) reinventing "Red Scare" again became principally important, as a vital tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population.

It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome.

American elite like Roman elite before need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophibia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent.   The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world.  And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of Us population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. 

In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing  anti-Semitism. King of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct)  nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.  There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations).  Now they probably might understand better what it means to be  the target of anti-Semitism.  As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):

"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."

While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of vassal that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR (the role which was temporary successfully implemented under drunk Yeltsin) . In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order --  the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became so fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to "neoliberal project" (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.  Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as

and other similar cliché that clearly remind German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory.

In other words the hatred of Russia  now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM.  How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries:

The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public’s “antipathy toward Russia” as the “most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad.”

The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite—and was off base, anyway, since Britain’s foreign policy was actually “more provocative than Russia’s” in this period. Others concur. “The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,”

While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):

The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites

Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.

In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).

In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.

It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.

... ... ...

Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.

US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.

First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.

In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.

Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.

In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.

And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.

Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War

If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.

There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!

... ... ...

On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?

It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.

So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".

In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.

In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.

It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.

The Saker

The USA and Russian should be strategic partners

During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonable and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation. Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation.

Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia.

but those were exception, rather then the rule.  Probably the memory of the WWII still played some role in such restrain. But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power.

This  new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour. This adventurism backfired.  This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). 

Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy)  and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya.  And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban. 

Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstain in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died").  Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 to balance the state budget).

It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.

But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise.  And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy.

Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was  a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).  But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative.  After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated. In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years.   That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends. 

But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the Us domination.  That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA.  This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite.

I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer strategy of British Empire, might be a mistake.

Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.  That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.

The role of skepticism

My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house  anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment).  I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced  to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).

Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR.  Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.

But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:

Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.

Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.

The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.

In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.

What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.

First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.

Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.

If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.

My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile

As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I’m a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.

However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).

I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:

This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it’s the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.

...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.

Russians are coming: War hysteria as classic Adorno

Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.

Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.

It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.

Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.

Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):

In any case, our taste for a country—favorable or unfavorable—shouldn’t dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today’s heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America’s most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.

So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end—if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program—is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia—on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators—will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.

And the “Russia Is Doomed” syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.

The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.

Russophobic views on Russia "There is no life there !"

The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.

From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.

From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.

It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:

"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution

Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.

Very well orchestrated Russophobia campaign of Western MSM

The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.

As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com

Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).

We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.

See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information

Two types of Russophobes: "Russophobes by conviction" vs. "Russophobes for money"

Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.

It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture

Russophobes by conviction

I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.

I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).

For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.

In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).

Russophobes for money

There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.

This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

Cold War II as an attempt to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and preserve it as an "oil drum" for the West

Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.

kievite:
April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :

"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "

First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That’s the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.

So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev’s actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.

In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit’ druzhno" (Let’s be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.

Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.

And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What’s the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).

marknesop
April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.

Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia’s official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.

kievite
April 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

Very true. Thanks for the response.

You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can’t abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That’s a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.

At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.

Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That’s where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it’s not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.

The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.

marknesop
April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

Yes, you’re right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It’s funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it’s Russia that’s held up as the consummate corporate raider.

I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There’s no reason foreign companies shouldn’t have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We’ll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.

Does Russia represent an alternative to the neoliberal economic/social model?

It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".

Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):

2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica

Danos tu opinión

Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.

Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)

  1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
  2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
  3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
  4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
  5. The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
  6. The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
  7. In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
  8. If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
  9. Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
  10. Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
  11. All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
  12. In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don’t want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
  13. The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people’s of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
  14. If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world’s “left” – or whatever remains of it — would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
  15. A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
  16. Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
  17. The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.

    The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.

  18. The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
  19. The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
  20. The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
  21. Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
  22. The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
  23. Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
  24. Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
  25. The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
  26. The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
  27. Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
  28. The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
  29. Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
  30. The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
  31. The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
  32. The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
  33. Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
  34. The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
  35. While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
  36. The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality.”

Demonization of Putin as part of Russophobia

The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One

Henry Kissinger

Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).

Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.

Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.

It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.

No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.

See Demonization of Putin for more details.

Apartheid regime in Baltic countries as part of Russophobia campaign launched after dissolution of the USSR

Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).

Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov

A Dispassionate View on Russophobia

10/04/2006

Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.

Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.

What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.

We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.

Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.

However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.

When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.

By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.

Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.

Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.

In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .

Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!

Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.

At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.

However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.

In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.

Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.

The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.

And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.

Coverage of Russia in Western MSMs resembles war propaganda

The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of  "prisoners of conscience" was created from   academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.

The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.

To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as

During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:

Background of propaganda attacks against Russia

...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".[3]

This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."

Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.

"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine—all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."

...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....

Summary of chapters

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul’s analysis. Introduction

Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.

"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace."[7] Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda

Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology."[8] 1.Part One: External Characteristics

Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.[9] The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen’s entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual’s capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization.[10] Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.

"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.

The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"[11]

These currents reinforce socieand hold man’s mjor convictions and propa ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual’s indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.

Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:

Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.

Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.[13]

Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members’ behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[14] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual’s way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don’t are bad.[15]

Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.

Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:

Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.

Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda

The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions

Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.

"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."[16]

"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda

All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity

The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual’s Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual’s part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda

The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas."[17] The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual’s personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects

"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him."[18] 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology

An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity.[19] 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.

Major themes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.

"The Lonely Crowd"

The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.[20]

In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.

Fundamental currents in society

"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody."[21] While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."[22]

While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."[23]

Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members’ behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[24] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best.

See also [edit] Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality

British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Anatomy of US sanctions against Russia

The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Tremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.

After 2008  neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like  perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection. 

And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.

Sanctions, as damaging  as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that  economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get.  See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially  against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.

The neocons strategy of encirclement and isolation of Russia

This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.

The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat".  Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.


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[Apr 20, 2018] Stench of hypocrisy British 'war on terror' strategic ties with radical Islam by John Wight

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called 'national interest' abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have connived with them, worked alongside them and sometimes trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain's global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain's imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world. ..."
"... But whereas Sharif Hussein was a follower of orthodox Sunni Islam, Ibn Saud adhered to the radical doctrine of Wahhabism, which Winston Churchill was moved to describe as " bloodthirsty ..."
"... British support for the mujahideen, married to the huge support provided by Washington, was indispensable in the eventual success of these self-styled 'holy warriors' in taking control of a country that had embraced modernity and turning it into a failed state mired in religious oppression, brutality, backwardness and poverty. ..."
"... Britain, along with the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supported the resistance to defeat the Soviet occupation of the country. Military, financial and diplomatic backing was given to Islamist forces which, while forcing a Soviet withdrawal, soon organized themselves into terrorist networks ready to strike Western targets. ..."
"... Islamic resistance ..."
"... We trust the Western leaders are prepared for the enormous beneficial possibilities that could just possibly open up if the Afghan rebellion were to succeed. ..."
"... Manchester, England is home to the largest Libyan community in Britain, and there is strong evidence to suggest that when the Libyan uprising broke out MI6 facilitated the ability of Libyan Islamists in Britain to travel to Libya to participate in the fighting. Among them was Salman Abedi, who it is thought received military training in the country before being allowed to return to the UK thereafter. ..."
"... This brings us on to Syria and, as with Libya, the question of how so many British Muslims have been able to travel from the UK to Syria via Turkey to take part in the anti-Assad insurgency since 2011? It also brings into sharp focus a policy that has veered between the ludicrous and the reckless. ..."
"... As for the recklessness of Britain's actions in Syria, look no further than the country's recent participation in the illegal missile strikes that were carried out in conjunction with the US and France, justified on the basis of as yet unproven allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out a chemical weapons attack on Douma, just outside Damascus. The only beneficiaries of such actions by the Western powers are Salafi-jihadist groups such as ISIS (whom it was later reported took advantage of the missile strike to mount a short-lived offensive), Al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam. ..."
"... The latter of those groups, Jaysh al-Islam, is a Saudi proxy. It was the dominant group in Douma and throughout Eastern Ghouta until the district's liberation by the Syrian Army and its allies with Russian support. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

Britain's strategic relationship with radical Islam goes back decades and continues to this day. There is no more foul a stench than the stench of hypocrisy, and there is no more foul a hypocrisy than the British government painting Bashar al-Assad as a monster when in truth he and the Syrian people have been grappling with a twin-headed monster in the shape of Salafi-jihadi terror and Western imperialism. Both are committed to destroying Syria as an independent, non-sectarian state, and both are inextricably linked.

Author and journalist Mark Curtis charts in detail the contours of this history in his book 'Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam':

" British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called 'national interest' abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have connived with them, worked alongside them and sometimes trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain's global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain's imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world. "

As far back as the First World War, when the Middle East began to assume strategic importance in the capitals of Western imperial and colonial powers, the British ruling class went out of its way to identify and recruit loyal local proxies in pursuit of its regional objectives. Britain's relationship with the Arab tribal chief, Ibn Saud, who would go on to establish Saudi Arabia in the early 1930s, began in 1915 with the Darin Pact, demarcating the territory then controlled by Saud as a British protectorate.

The following year, the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans erupted. Begun and inspired by Saud's fierce rival, Sharif Hussein, head of the Hashemite Arab tribe, the revolt was heavily bankrolled and supported by the British – a period immortalized in the exploits of British military agent T E Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia.

But whereas Sharif Hussein was a follower of orthodox Sunni Islam, Ibn Saud adhered to the radical doctrine of Wahhabism, which Winston Churchill was moved to describe as " bloodthirsty " and " intolerant ." Regardless, when it came to its imperial interests there was no tiger upon whose back the British ruling class was not willing to ride during this period, and which, as events have proved, it has not been willing to ride since.

The most egregious example of this policy, one that continues to have ramifications today, was the support provided by the UK to the Afghan mujahideen in the late 1970s and 1980s. The insurgency's objective was the overthrow of Kabul's secular and left-leaning government, whose crime in the eyes of the Islamist insurgency's US and UK sponsors was that it had embraced the social and economic model of Moscow rather than Washington during the first Cold War.

British support for the mujahideen, married to the huge support provided by Washington, was indispensable in the eventual success of these self-styled 'holy warriors' in taking control of a country that had embraced modernity and turning it into a failed state mired in religious oppression, brutality, backwardness and poverty.

Mark Curtis again:

" Britain, along with the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supported the resistance to defeat the Soviet occupation of the country. Military, financial and diplomatic backing was given to Islamist forces which, while forcing a Soviet withdrawal, soon organized themselves into terrorist networks ready to strike Western targets. "

While Washington's primary role in channeling military and financial support to the Afghan mujahideen, known as Operation Cyclone , may until have succeeded in overshadowing London's role in this dirty war, declassified British government cabinet papers which were made public in 2010 and reported in the UK media make grim reading.

They reveal that three weeks after Soviet forces arrived in Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government in Kabul, struggling to deal with an insurgency that had broken out in the countryside, the Thatcher government was planning to supply military aid to the " Islamic resistance ." A confidential government memo provides a chilling insight into the insanity that passed for official policy: " We trust the Western leaders are prepared for the enormous beneficial possibilities that could just possibly open up if the Afghan rebellion were to succeed. "

It will be recalled that out of the ensuing collapse of Afghanistan emerged the Taliban, under whose rule the country was turned into a vast militant jihadist school and training camp. Many of the most notorious Islamist terrorists began their careers there, fighting the Soviets and then later broadening out their activities to other parts of the region and wider world. In this regard, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda loom large.

Other notorious names from the world of Salafi-jihadism for whom Afghanistan proved indispensable include the Jordanian Abu al-Zarqawi, who founded Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) during the US-UK occupation, an organization that would over time morph into ISIS.

Abdelhakim Belhaj and other Libyan Islamists cut their jihadist teeth in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Returning to Libya, they formed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in the eastern city of Benghazi. Though the group may have been disbanded in 2010, having failed to topple Gaddafi despite repeated attempts to assassinate the Libyan leader with, it's been claimed , the support of Britain's MI6, former members of the LIFG, including Belhaj, were important actors in the 2011 Libyan uprising.

By way of a reminder, the uprising in Libya started in Benghazi and would not have succeeded without the air support it received from NATO. Britain's then prime minister, David Cameron, was key in pushing for that air support and the sanction of the UN under the auspices of Security Council Resolution 1973. Though protecting civilians was central in wording of this UNSC resolution, it was shamefully distorted to justify regime change, culminating in Gaddafi's murder by the 'rebels.'

Staying with the LIFG, in the wake of the Manchester suicide-bomb attack in May 2017, which left 23 people dead and 500 injured, the fact that the bomber, a young Libyan by the name of Salman Abedi, was the son of a former member of the LIFG, did not receive anything like the media attention it should have at the time.

Manchester, England is home to the largest Libyan community in Britain, and there is strong evidence to suggest that when the Libyan uprising broke out MI6 facilitated the ability of Libyan Islamists in Britain to travel to Libya to participate in the fighting. Among them was Salman Abedi, who it is thought received military training in the country before being allowed to return to the UK thereafter.

This brings us on to Syria and, as with Libya, the question of how so many British Muslims have been able to travel from the UK to Syria via Turkey to take part in the anti-Assad insurgency since 2011? It also brings into sharp focus a policy that has veered between the ludicrous and the reckless.

Emblematic of the former was ex-prime minister David Cameron's claim , which he made during a 2015 Commons debate over whether the Royal Air Force should engage in air strikes against ISIS in Syria, that fighting as part of the Syrian were 70,000 moderates.

As for the recklessness of Britain's actions in Syria, look no further than the country's recent participation in the illegal missile strikes that were carried out in conjunction with the US and France, justified on the basis of as yet unproven allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out a chemical weapons attack on Douma, just outside Damascus. The only beneficiaries of such actions by the Western powers are Salafi-jihadist groups such as ISIS (whom it was later reported took advantage of the missile strike to mount a short-lived offensive), Al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam.

The latter of those groups, Jaysh al-Islam, is a Saudi proxy. It was the dominant group in Douma and throughout Eastern Ghouta until the district's liberation by the Syrian Army and its allies with Russian support.

Given the deep and longstanding ties between London and Riyadh; given the fact, reported towards the end of 2017, that British military personnel were embedded in a training role with Saudi forces in Yemen; given the news that a British special forces sergeant was killed in northern Syria at the end of March this year while embedded with the Kurds, revealing for the first time that British troops were operating in the country on the ground – given all that, the question of who else British special forces and military personnel may be embedded with in Syria is legitimate.

In the context of the British state's long and sordid history when it comes to riding the back of radical Islam in pursuit of its strategic objectives, readers will doubtless draw their own conclusions.

Read more

John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1

[Apr 19, 2018] Merkel is a CIA asset. She has skeletons in her closet from her time in East Germany, and her meteoric rise to power was clearly engineered by a third party she herself lacked both the experience and the power base within the party for doing it herself

Judging from German press, Germany really looks like a US colony, not even vassal state.
Notable quotes:
"... She was promoted over Kohl's natural successor, Schaeuble, who was discredited using comparatively trifling allegations of accepting improper donations (aka bribes) on behalf of the party. ..."
"... Merkel has betrayed German interests at every turn, most blatantly in the context of the Greek debt fiasco and the refugee fake crisis. She goes along with imposing sanctions on Russia, which hurts export-oriented Germany like no other Western country. ..."
"... Merkel's selection as chancellor does not explain why German electorate keep electing her party as majority, which then is in the position to name her as chancellor. German people have been lobotomized and neutered after decades of Soros-Neocon brainwashing. ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

WorkingClass , April 17, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT

The most interesting aspect of this false response to a false flag attack is the non participation by Germany. Turkey has one foot in both camps. Germany will be next to turn. Time is working against Imperial Washington.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 5:50 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

German expat here.

Merkel is a CIA asset. She has skeletons in her closet from her time in East Germany, and her meteoric rise to power was clearly engineered by a third party -- she herself lacked both the experience and the power base within the party for doing it herself. She was promoted over Kohl's natural successor, Schaeuble, who was discredited using comparatively trifling allegations of accepting improper donations (aka bribes) on behalf of the party.

Merkel has betrayed German interests at every turn, most blatantly in the context of the Greek debt fiasco and the refugee fake crisis. She goes along with imposing sanctions on Russia, which hurts export-oriented Germany like no other Western country. At the same time, the "ultra-right" (i.e. common sense) party "Alternative fuer Deutschland" is forever mired in ridiculous infighting, which regularly escalates just ahead of elections -- funny how that is. Must be those meddling Russians.

Long story short, hell will freeze over before Merkel decides herself what is for breakfast, never mind for policy. I wish we could clone Putin and import him.

Avery , April 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm GMT
@Mike P

Merkel's selection as chancellor does not explain why German electorate keep electing her party as majority, which then is in the position to name her as chancellor. German people have been lobotomized and neutered after decades of Soros-Neocon brainwashing.

There is no other explanation for people who are committing slow self-extermination as a distinct ethnos. Same with the French electorate: they had a chance to elect a true French patriot and instead chose another globalist weirdo poodle.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 7:49 pm GMT
@Avery

Merkel's party has no majority – actually her party's share of the vote is at historic lows with less than one third (traditionally it was 45-50%). She has moved that formerly conservative party to the left by co-opting green and welfare agendas of the competing parties. The other formerly strong party, the Social Democrats, have been reduced to a status of auxiliaries in an eternal "grand coalition". In spite of infighting, the new "right-wing" AfD came in third in the last elections.

But of course, as you say, the people's failure to get rid of her is due in large measure to relentless media brainwashing, they swallow the refugee nonsense because it is subliminally suggested that it atones for the "holocaust" etc. I don't read a single German newspaper anymore, the manure is just too depressing.

Sean , April 18, 2018 at 8:39 pm GMT
@Mike P

Militarily subsidised by Nato, Germany spends next to nothing on its own defence and is keeping wages down even more than usual by importing immigrants, thereby aiding its deindustrialising of the rest of the EU. Russia is declining in national power compared to Germany by getting into silly pissing contests with America. Adolf Hitler always said it would be necessary to sacrifice millions of Germans to make Germany Great. He would approve of Merkel.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 9:47 pm GMT
@Sean

What keeps German wages down, in real terms, is the Euro, not the migrants.

You are correct on the neglect of the armed forces. I have griped about it often, but I have recently changed my tune. If the forces were indeed up to snuff, this would only cause the U.S. to "ask" for their deployment in their many endless idiotic wars. Letting the troops degrade to some sort of war museum on wheels is a sly way of getting out of that – can't deploy in the short term, sorry, no spark plugs, but will be more than happy to go along for the next war so I now see this as one of the few things Merkel got right.

[Apr 19, 2018] Theresa May ties with military-industrial complex

Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [107] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 1:47 am GMT

@S. N.

UK PM's husband's Capital Group is largest shareholder in BAE, shares soar since Syrian airstrikes: https://www.rt.com/uk/424392-may-husbands-capital-group/

"Philip May, husband of the UK prime minister, works for a company that is the largest shareholder in arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, whose share price has soared since the recent airstrikes in Syria.
The company, Capital Group, is also the second-largest shareholder in Lockheed Martin -- a US military arms firm that supplies weapons systems, aircraft and logistical support. Its shares have also rocketed since the missile strikes last week. . . ."

h/t http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/real-reporting-on-syria-by-publius-tacitus.html

annamaria , April 19, 2018 at 2:14 am GMT
@Philip Owen

We have got it: Philip Owen believes religiously in the words of Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Gavin Willaimson. And, of course, Blair is a paragon of honesty for Philip Owen.

What are you doing here, on the Unz Review? -- This is not a ziocon stink-tank source of (dis)information, and this is not the ziocons-controlled MSM's presstitutes' haven.

You make yourself ridiculous by parroting the MSM "wisdom." Your frustration over the impending defeat of "moderate" terrorists in Syria affects your reason and amplifies your rabid hatred of Russia. Don't expect any sympathy for your "victimhood" on this site.

This is the reality: "Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program at Porton Down," by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva – https://southfront.org/salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-reveals-70-million-pentagon-program-porton/

"Porton Down is just one of the Pentagon-funded military laboratories in 25 countries across the world, where the US Army produces and tests man-made viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN convention . These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program– Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.
The Pentagon-funded military facilities are not under the direct control of the host state as the US military and civilian personnel is working under diplomatic cover. The local governments are prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the foreign military program running on their own territory."
– All statements in this article are sourced, unlike the pronouncement of the miserable puppets Blair, May, Johnson, and Willaimson.

[Apr 19, 2018] Mad madam prostitute Nick Halley has to be soothed by Kudlow telling her she was not a demented rat.

Notable quotes:
"... So a choreographed coordinated attack works for Iran. Trump is happy. His base angry. His enemies can't go after him for few hours or days ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

KA , April 19, 2018 at 1:53 am GMT

Iran doesn't want to escalate the situation and give Trump any leverage on Iran deal. Iran wants to deprive any moral political or legal supports from EU to USA on this. Trump pulls out. Rest remains same. This will give Iran moral political and legal authorities to pursue its nuclear program with China and Russia.

This will have domino effects on other areas of these 3 countries -- how to conduct business internationally.

So a choreographed coordinated attack works for Iran. Trump is happy. His base angry. His enemies can't go after him for few hours or days . Mad madam prostitute Nick Halley has to be soothed by Kudlow telling her she was not a demented rat.

[Apr 18, 2018] Russia retaliate Our Response to US Sanctions Will Be Precise And Painful

Apr 18, 2018 | community.oilprice.com

luckysoul777

Report post " What exactly do we get from Russian that we couldn't do without? " <== The willingness to ally with the U.S. vs the Chinese.

There is no denial of what Russia has done in the last few years, and it's wrong! However, what is entirely missing from the western media is the U.S. ambassador to the USSR, Jack Matlock, and George Kennan have been warning the American political elites since the 90's, prior to Putin was even known and in politics, that the American foreign policy is steering us straight into confrontations with Russia! It's not if but when it will happen REGARDLESS OF who is in Kremlin! Nobody cared to heed because we were indulging ourselves as the sole superpower in the world.

Neither has the American media reported even our old friend, Gorbachev, is praising Putin and has harsh words for the U.S. In a nutshell, the Russians don't like to be treated as a nobody country, ie. with decisions of world affairs already made and shoved at their face, and they can either put up or shut up! However, that is exactly how Washington has conducted business with Russia until the crisis in Ukraine in 2014. Would the American public put up with a revolution led by a Russian politician in Mexico City or Ottawa, even though it's Mexican or Canadians self-determination? Then what makes us think the Russians would tolerate John McCain leading an anti-Russian revolution in Kiev, even if it's Ukrainian self-determination? Don't forget the U.S. directly invaded Grenada when they were exercising their self-determination to ally with the USSR!

This is not about defending Russia. The Russians can take care of that themselves. Rather, can the U.S. afford to have Russia and China solidify their alliance again? It's already happening unless we can adopt a sensible Russian policy to turn it around. Who would you rather ally with? Someone (like the U.S.) who expects you to be a subordinate vs another (like China) who is willing to treat you as an equal?

One can certainly argue how it is possible to ally with a country like Russia, who sponsors dictators, meddles in our elections and tramples on other nation's self-determination. If you are willing to be honest with yourself, just Google it. There is not one thing we accuse of the Russians that our politicians are not doing it overseas, by MULTIPLE magnitude! The biggest gripe the Russians have toward the U.S. is "are you preaching democracy or hypocrisy?" Yes, one sin doesn't justify another, but why our politicians can't uphold this principle when they are committing treacheries overseas?

[Apr 18, 2018] Douma Chemical Attack False Flag Operation EXPOSED!

Looks like people were bombed and the shelter became full of dust and smoke. That led to some suffocations. Later this was played as chemical attack.
The scenario is classic. Put artillery near residential houses and mercilessly shell residential building on government side killing civilians. Wait for return fire which produce its own set of victims. Stage the false flag operation based on return fire victims and the fact that civilians suffered.
Apr 18, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Annie , 15 hours ago (edited)

Thanks for this video. I have had a gut-full of the west and it's lies to take over countries in the Middle East. It's making me sick. What's happening on a daily basis to the people of Palestine and Syria are war crimes, pure and simple.

The country I live in, Australia, is not on the side of the good guys. We were not on the right side in Libya and Iraq either. I'm so sick of this shit. This is all so the US and their creepy allies, including the head-choppin' Saudis, can put a pipeline through Syria to Europe to compete with Russia and so they can use Syria as a jumping off point to invade Iran. Poor Iran.

The CIA threw out their Democratically elected leader and installed a Dictator who they kept in place for 48 years, using the Shah's brutal secret police. The US hates the Iranians for chucking the puppet out. Iran had every right to do so. God knows how they must feel being under constant threat. Israel have been assassinating their citizens for years and launched the Stuxnet virus (with help from the US) to attack their infrastructure, accidentally infecting the world, including Australia at the time. Thanks to them, every group in the world now has the code for that virus. They modified the code and released it again behind Obama's back.

Israel's illegal nukes can't reach Iran but they will definitely use them against Iran if they can get into Syria to use it as a base for attack. Then what happens to the world? Israel have demonstrated clearly, their disinterest in Human Rights. The only people on the planet they care about are Israelis. Damn Israel and damn the US. Macron is a wanna-be Napoleon and Theresa May is Thatcher- Lite. Both of them are sucking on the tail-pipe of that clown, Trump and are keeping the world in a state of perpetual war. Hands off Syria, wankers!

madex4u , 6 hours ago

The western media has covered up so much lies about Syria and Iraq that only few still brainwashed people believe their fake news

M.K. Styllinski , 9 hours ago (edited)

Aside from this video, there is now overwhelming evidence confirming that this was yet another false flag chemical attack designed to demonise Assad. This isn't the first time. Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, the Balkans - all suffered a similar fate designed to hoodwink the public in supporting war and resource grab.

it was only a couple of years ago that Assad and Russia were subjected to the same scenario and proven to be utterly false. How long must we swallow these crimes? History is replete with the same state-sponsored crimes against populations. Governments are not acting in our best interests and never have.

Therefore, there is absolutely no excuse for people to believe the utter bullshit spread around the mainstream media which excels in poor journalism and is determined to push this disgusting propaganda on behalf of their respective governments and intel agencies.

Until the public is prepared to comprehend that such false flag attacks are a long used formula by US-NATO for carving up the Middle East then it will continue with impunity. I hope everyone shares this video on social media in order to counter lazy thinking and the obvious lies that characterize what passes for news.

ameen ayob , 3 hours ago

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

[Apr 18, 2018] The Great American Unspooling Is Upon Us

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... collusion with Russia ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

With spring, things come unstuck; an unspooling has begun. The turnaround at the FBI and Department of Justice has been so swift that even The New York Times has shut up about collusion with Russia -- at the same time omitting to report what appears to have been a wholly politicized FBI upper echelon intruding on the 2016 election campaign, and then laboring stealthily to un-do the election result.

The ominous silence enveloping the DOJ the week after Andrew McCabe's firing -- and before the release of the FBI Inspector General's report -- suggests to me that a grand jury is about to convene and indictments are in process, not necessarily from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office. The evidence already publicly-aired about FBI machinations and interventions on behalf of Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump looks bad from any angle, and the wonder was that it took so long for anyone at the agency to answer for it.

McCabe is gone from office and, apparently hung out to dry on the recommendation of his own colleagues. Do not think for a moment that he will just ride off into the sunset. Meanwhile, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, have been sent to the FBI study hall pending some other shoes dropping in a grand jury room. James Comey is out hustling a book he slapped together to manage the optics of his own legal predicament (evidently, lying to a congressional committee). And way out in orbit beyond the gravitation of the FBI, lurk those two other scoundrels, John Brennan, former head of the CIA (now a CNN blabbermouth), and James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, a new and redundant post in the Deep State's intel matrix (and ditto a CNN blabbermouth). Brennan especially has been provoked to issue blunt Twitter threats against Mr. Trump, suggesting he might be entering a legal squeeze himself.

None of these public servants have cut a plea bargain yet, as far as is publicly known, but they are all, for sure, in a lot of trouble. Culpability may not stop with them. Tendrils of evidence point to a coordinated campaign that included the Obama White House and the Democratic National Committee starring Hillary Clinton. Robert Mueller even comes into the picture both at the Uranium One end of the story and the other end concerning the activities of his old friend, Mr. Comey. Most tellingly of all, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not shoved out of office but remains shrouded in silence and mystery as this melodrama plays out, tick, tick, tick.

None of this makes President Trump a more reassuring figure. His lack of decorum remains as awesome as his apparent lack of common sense. But he has labored against the most intense campaign of coordinated calumny ever seen against a chief executive and his fortitude, at least, is impressive. What is unspooling for him, and the body politic, are the nation's finances, and the dog of an economy that gets wagged by finance. Yesterday's 724-point dump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average is liable to not be a fluke event, but the beginning of a cascade into the pitiless maw of reality -- the reality that just about everything is grossly mispriced.

[Apr 18, 2018] I believe Stoicism has a great deal of value for modern man.

Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Rob from Canada on April 15, 2018 , · at 5:39 pm UTC

In my opinion, the ego becomes "mental" when it starts believing in duality, that it's the centre of the personality and in control. It's just the centre of the field of consciousness.

I believe Stoicism has a great deal of value for modern man.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5897dMWJiSM&t=333s

"The axiom of Maria. A precept in alchemy: "One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth."
Jung used the axiom of Maria as a metaphor for the whole process of individuation. One is the original state of unconscious wholeness; two signifies the conflict between opposites; three points to a potential resolution; the third is the transcendent function; and the one as the fourth is a transformed state of consciousness, relatively whole and at peace."

­
Stuart Harlan Doblin on April 16, 2018 , · at 5:43 pm UTC
Good Day Rob from Canada – Stuart says, "Hi".

"In my opinion, the ego becomes "mental" when it starts believing in duality, that it's the centre of the personality and in control. It's just the centre of the field of consciousness."

Stuart begins: Our ego is a vestigal organ, long since gone by the by, and all that remains is a cell-wall-less gooey-plasma ready at the moment to luminesce and retire into nothingness.

I take it as axiotmatic that our Whole Mind cannot lose it Self.

OK, Rob from Canada, now to your opinions:

One: "the ego becomes "mental" when it starts believing in duality".
Two: "(the ego is) the centre of the personality".
Three: "(the ego is) in control".
Four: "(the ego) is the centre of the field of consciousness".

Regarding Point One: Please explain how fracturing an entirely mistaken ideal can lead to dualism and not chaos?
Two: "Who says?"
Three: "Of What?"
Four: An unconscious ideal cannot attain consciousness, except in illusions.

Barry on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:46 pm UTC
Hi Stuart! Here's my take on the issue of ego being mental, and from my own experience it is correct. With very little practice one can observe his thoughts and internal dialogue. It doesn't require meditation. It's simply a matter of paying attention to our internal dialogue. We all talk to ourselves. That internal dialogue is the ego talking to itself. The ego is a mental construction based on the brain's interpretation of it's experience since birth. So what are we witnessing the ego's internal dialogue and thoughts with? That's where our "spirituality" lies, regardless of religion or no religion. We all have immediate access to the witness to our own ego but few use it. The "witness" is silent. It observes and knows, but doesn't know how or why it knows. Call it "knowingness". That witnessing awareness is silent. Zen Buddhists call it the practice of "no mind". In modern sports it's called being in "The Zone". Though silent is is a very aware state of consciousness.
Instead of using our brain to think when we want to use it to think, we let the brain's ego think us and think our lives for us. Our ego is our own worst enemy. The ego never sees the "big picture" of all involved. The ego/mind is always insecure and spends it's life trying to compensate is some way or another to overcome it's basic insecurity.
Humans for the most part, identify with their mental chatter (the ego). Any real spiritual teaching, teaches us to identify, instead, with the observer of the ego, which is transcending the ego.
All the problems we face on this planet are because of insecure individual egos, grouping to form tribal egos, such as tribes of nationalism, tribes of religious beliefs, tribes of political beliefs, tribes of sports team fans. Egos tend to be competitive and want to be "one up" in some way. One can easily see that the party of Democrats has an ego identity as does the party of Republicans. Egos are mental creations. Mental creations are not necessarily true. They are beliefs about our perception, whether actually correct or not. The witness or observer we all have and share knows the truth of the moment and the appropriate action to take. Of all the books on Spiritual Practices I've read through the years (I'm 80), I recommend Eckhart Tolle's "The Power Of Now". The best to you!
Stiv R on April 16, 2018 , · at 1:59 am UTC
To Barry, thank you for your post. I have read Tolle's book too, about 8 years ago, and found it really making good sense to me. Your explanation of our internal dialogue not being who we really are, is very clear and well-said. These can be hard concepts to get one's head around. You did an admirable job of it in your post.
Thanks again for posting your thoughts.
Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 5:12 am UTC
Insecure group think problems at the crux of existence.

Simple, profound and, also from my experience, true.

Thank you Barry.

Stuart Harlan Doblin on April 16, 2018 , · at 5:35 pm UTC
Barry, I pride myself in speaking to an octogenarian! "And from my own experience" .

"Here's my take on the issue of ego being mental, and from my own experience it is correct. With very little practice one can observe his thoughts and internal dialogue. It doesn't require meditation. It's simply a matter of paying attention to our internal dialogue. We all talk to ourselves. That internal dialogue is the ego talking to itself. The ego is a mental construction based on the brain's interpretation of it's experience since birth."

Barry, the internal dialogue of what you speak, is to me, your conscience and your inner self, not the ego talking to a hallucination of itself; for what can an illusion manifest but more illusions of : it : self.

The ego is a misprojection from our higher mind; ergo, not mind, but misunderstanding, illusion, maya, separate from reality, separate from us, not us, not anyone, just lost awareness with no where to settle but nonexistence from which it came.

Robin Gaura on April 17, 2018 , · at 5:51 pm UTC
Cool. I´d take it a bit further, though. Putting the mind on emptiness, the place without characteristics, in a deep meditative state. One sees the way things really exist, the way consciousness creates our reality, the truth of emptiness and karma. Its called entering the stream. The beginning of the transformation to the divine being. Its an experience that changes you forever.
Beyond words. Meditation is essential.

[Apr 18, 2018] The Rape of Russia, an Interview with F. William Engdahl (Audio)

Notable quotes:
"... What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could. ..."
"... And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. ..."
"... And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. ..."
"... They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control. ..."
"... Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. ..."
"... So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. ..."
"... In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

The Rape of Russia (full transcript)

Lars Schall: Hello ladies and gentlemen. I am now connected with F. William Engdahl, who has written a new book, Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance. Hi William.

F. William Engdahl: Hello, Lars. Good to be with you again.

LS: Great to have you with us. And first off, let me read something to you and our audience that was written by the economist Dean Baker earlier this month.

As a long-term columnist at the NYT, Thomas Friedman apparently never feels the need to know anything about the topics on which he writes. This explains his sarcastic speculation that Putin could be a CIA agent since he has done so much to hurt Russia.

For all his authoritarian tendencies, it is likely that most Russians think primarily about Putin's impact on the economy, just as is typically the case among voters in the United States. On that front, Putin has a very good record.

According to data from the IMF Russia's economy had plunged in the 1990s under the Yeltsin presidency. When Putin took over in 1998, per capita income in the country had shrunk by more than 40 percent from its 1990 level. This is a far sharper downturn than the United States saw in the Great Depression. Since Putin took power its per capita income has risen by more than 115 percent, an average annual growth rate of more than 3.9 percent.

While this growth has been very unequal, that was also the case even as Russia's economy was collapsing under Yeltsin. The typical Russian has done hugely better in the last two decades under Putin than they did in the period when Yeltsin was in power.

For this reason, there are probably few Russians who would have sympathy for Friedman's speculation about Putin's ties to the CIA. The same would not be the case for Boris Yeltsin.

Now, I think this is a good starting point for our discussion William because in your book, you have a chapter entitled The Rape of Russia, the CIA's Yeltsin Coup d'état. Why do you talk about rape related to Russia?

FWE: What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could.

And what you just read from Mr. Friedman is of course horse rubbish but the real CIA asset of this whole collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s was in fact Boris Yeltsin and the so called Yeltsin Family, the Yeltsin Mafia. And in my book, the Manifest Destiny book I document and detail at great lengths the relation of a handful of KGB very, very senior persons who worked with the Bush Senior old boys CIA networks in the West and their banks to create a group of oligarchs around Yeltsin, you know the famous Russian oligarchs, well, The New York Times and other Western Media portrayed them as Russian Mafia. They were kind of mafia but the real point was that they were a CIA-run mafia. They were run by the West. They betrayed their own country, their own people and literally stole billions and billions and billions of dollars of assets. And that's the reason for the title in that chapter.

LS: And Boris Yeltsin was very essential for this.

FWE: He was the key figure. He had been selected as a regional governor and brought into Moscow and a certain point Gorbachev saw him as a rising star and someone that could help with a little bit more liberal image as [unclear] was – the Russian economy was running into serious trouble in the '80s, the Star Wars of Reagan, the Nicaragua and above all the war in Afghanistan which is a CIA project with the Mujahideen, that took 10 years long that was bleeding the Soviet economy, the Soviet Union's Vietnam, as Brzezinski used to call it.

And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. You remember, I'm sure many people remember the picture of Boris Yeltsin standing there courageously on top of a Soviet tank in front of the Russian White House or Soviet House, the Supreme Soviet building and reading a speech defying Gorbachev and so forth. Well, that was a KGB CIA-engineered coup d'état in June 1991. And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. And he later joined the [#inaudible 00:06:40-0#] oil and to this day he's still a member of the State Duma giving him prosecution immunity.

So, some of these people are still around after some 23, 25 years and incredibly enough but others of them have died off, have been killed, or murdered or whatever. But the operation that was done with Yeltsin, this corrupt KGB network working with the CIA financed Yeltsin's the silent seat of the presidency of the Russian Federation. And once they had their man in controlling the Russian Federation which is the largest of the former Soviet Union, the Socialist Republic, they were able to engineer through the international monetary fund that was mandated to oversee the transformation of the Soviet economy.

They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control.

LS: But those assets were sold to a price that was rather ridiculous.

FWE: Someone estimated that that gets into the whole coupon privatisation that was set up under Yeltsin in the '90s. The coupon privatisation issued one coupon to every single Russian man, woman and child 140 million in total. And the value of those coupons was such someone estimated that the totality of Russian Soviet's Fed assets or Russian Federation assets now was equal to the value of the stock at that point of General Electric Company on the New York Stock Exchange. I mean that's just laughable. Russia had financial bankruptcy because the shock therapy, the Jeffrey Sachs and others from Harvard and elsewhere brought in, George Soros and his pals. That created bankrupt companies that couldn't stand on their own and suddenly they had no, no resources. But the assets, the assets on the ground, the nickel, the aluminium, the uranium that Hillary Clinton knows more than a little bit about them, all of these were estimated to be in the trillions of dollars. And this is what the Bush operation aimed at. And they used NGOs, they used the National Endowment for Democracy, they used, George Soros' Open Society Foundation and so forth to bring this about.

LS: You've mentioned already the coup d'etat attempt of August 1991. Highly important for things to come was something that took place in early 1991 and that was the theft of the Soviet gold. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The, under the Soviet Union, this is a very crucial point about the transition that Washington forced on the Russian Federation because Yeltsin was, I think as long as he was well-supplied with vodka he didn't protest very much. But under the Soviet system and the Russian Federation took this over, there was a state bank, not a private central bank like the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank today but a state bank that was an entity of the Russian State apparatus and that was called the Gosbank. And a man named Viktor Gerashchenko was the chairman of Gosbank at the time of Yeltsin's early start in 1991.

And Gerashchenko made a speech around that time in November of '91 to the Russian Duma or the parliament such as it was and said, "I have to report to you ladies and gentlemen that of perhaps 3,000 tons of Gosbank state-owned gold reserves, we have an estimated less than 400 tons that we can account for." And then he had to go to tell, shock members of parliament that he had no idea what happened to the missing gold, which of course was a lie. And Gerashchenko had created right after 1989 to prepare this coup d'etat coup, which was the CIA and Bush's old boys, he had created something called [unclear] on the Channel Islands in the Island of Jersey to handle the Russian foreign currency reserves.

And the Jersey was exempt from European supervision, so this was a perfect place to hide money, dirty money or stolen money and they managed something like $37 billion between 1993 and 1998. The Gerashchenko and the Gosbank even went to the lengths of hiring a New York Financial Detective firm called the Financial CIA back then called Jules Kroll Associate. And they were told to track the Soviet gold, find out what happened to it and something like $14 billion of communist party assets that were missing as well. And the Cruel which was tied with the CIA linked AIG Insurance Group Hank Greenberg whom you remember from the 2008 to the bail out of Henry Paulson.

LS: Yes.

FEW: The Kroll Associates after a few months announced that they had no results in the attempt to find the missing Soviet Gosbank gold. Then to add insult to injury, the IMF came in and rewrote the constitution of the Russian Federation under Yeltsin and took the power of money creation just like the Federal Reserve took the power of money creation from the congress in 1913. They took the power of money creation from the state and created the Russian Federation Central Bank, the Russian Central Bank and gave it a mandate for two things. One, to control inflation and the other to create currency stability.

Now, in Russia that day that meant stability of the ruble against the US dollar. So it effectively hammer-locked the Russian money creation into the US dollar. And unfortunately that constitution amendment holds until the present day. It's one of the difficulties that Vladimir Putin has been having to try to persuade the Independent Central Bank to lower interest rates more rapidly as inflation is simply managed as a problem in Russia in the last two years.

So, they looted the gold so that there would be no stability to the ruble. If you don't have any gold-backing, then western investors are going to lack confidence which is sort of what happened. And then they began working with very select western bankers to get their money out of Russia.

LS: And instrumental to get money out of Russia were Valmet and Riggs. Can you tell us please about some crucial personnel that was employed there at Valmet and Riggs?

FWE: Valmet Riggs was kind of a fusion of a Swiss bank and Riggs Bank of Washington D. C. And Riggs Bank, this is really quite a fascinating and very little discussed aspect of the reign of Russia back in the '90s.

So you have something called Riggs Bank in Washington and they were set up decades earlier since the 1960s CIA Bay of Pigs operation, they were known as the CIA tied bank. They invested the assets of people like Marcos of the Philippines until when he was close to the CIA. And there was a former NATO Ambassador named Alton Keel and in 1989 when the Soviet KGB generals and they had a group of protégés called the 'Kids' by George Bush Senior. The protégés were in their 30s and a couple of them were in their 40s but rather young. And they were the ones who were nominated to become the oligarchs, the frontal men for taking these state assets the aluminium, the oil assets and other things and looting the Russian Federation.

And Alton Keel just as the Russians were setting up men at a bank for the oligarchs to funnel their stolen assets, de facto stolen assets, Keel went from NATO and the National Security Council to become a head of international banking of Riggs Bank in Washington and its deputy chairman.

Now, it gets even more interesting because the international banking group of Riggs included a new entity that had been created called Riggs Valmet SA in Switzerland, and Riggs Valmet was set up by a man named Jonathan J. Bush, a private banker, who just happened to be the brother of George Herbert Walker Bush. So, Bush brother and Alton Keel set up Riggs Valmet, there was a money laundering apparatus in Geneva and Riggs then through their help bought the major share in Geneva Valmet to create Riggs Valmet.

So, you have the brother of the president of the United States up to his eyeballs in this whole Yeltsin CIA money laundering operation. And then Jonathan Bush was created CEO of something called Riggs Investment in Connecticut where he lived and at that point the looting and taking of the dollar assets out of Russia was just unstoppable. It was in the billions and tens of billions of dollars.

LS: William, there is one guy who was working closely with those people and he was working on Wall Street but later on he was personally recruited by George Tenet then the Director of CIA to become the number three at the CIA, and this is Alvin Bernard "Buzzy" Krongard.

FWE: Yes. We meet "Buzzy" Krongard at Bankers Trust, which bought up Alex Brown, and Krongard became vice chairman of Bankers Trust along with another charming character named Carter Beese. And at the time of the 1998 collapse of the ruble, Krongard was formally made, as you've pointed out, number three, the executive director at the CIA under George Tenet. So, it's a CIA network from beginning to end, from the banking side to you know the direct CIA side. You have Carter Beast, you have "Buzzy" Krongard, Jonathan Bush and Alton Keel and they were the ones working with Valmet as the Riggs Valmet Bank in Geneva to pull this money out through shell companies.

And the oligarchs, this is an interesting part of this whole thing that you know right now Theresa May and the foreign secretary Boris Johnson in the UK are accusing Putin of murdering almost everybody since the birth of Jesus Christ. And one of them was the person who had been the trusted bodyguard of one of the oligarchs living in London Boris Berezovsky.

And Berezovsky was one of the dirtiest of these oligarchs. He'd financed the Ukrainian Colour Revolution back in 2003, 2004 as a revenge against Putin because he at first thought Putin could be bought like Yeltsin and suddenly he realized that he was up against the faction of nationalists within of what had been the KGB but wanted to stabilise and preserve Russia as a functioning nation today. And so Mikhail Khodorkovskyi, Roman Abramovich, who is listed on the sanctions list yesterday, and Berezovsky were some of the leading oligarchs that were created by this Bush operation.

LS: And to jumpstart all of this, we have to talk about something that is well, that is stranger than fiction and that is something called for example "Yamashita's Gold". If our audience is interested in this, they could for example look for an article written by Chalmers Johnson, the famous Asian expert, The Looting of Asia, which was published at the London Review of Books on the 20 th of November of 2003 because then they can find something on this topic of Yamashita's gold on an instant basis in the internet ( https://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n22/chalmers-johnson/the-looting-of-asia ). I think this is just fair

FWE: Yeah.

LS: because no one really is aware of this whole story. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The Yamashita Gold story is one of the, as you've said really incredible stories of post-World War II. During the Second World War, the Japanese Imperial Family looted the gold of occupied Arch of China, they looted the gold of all the parts of Asia that they had conquered.

LS: Basically from 1895 to 1945.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And because they had no guarantee that Japan was going to win the war, the emperor ordered the gold to be hidden away in, mostly in the Philippines as far as we know and literally untold tons of gold were buried so deep underground in tunnels around the Philippines and the people who dug the tunnels in many cases were later shot you know so that they couldn't tell. But Marcos who was a CIA asset initially, the dictator of the Philippines through much of the '70s and into the '80s, yeah through the '70, Ferdinand Marcos somehow came upon some of this gold. So, the Japanese looted war body was buried in the early '40s before the end of the war on orders of Emperor Hirohito should they lose the war.

And at some point in the 1970s, Marcos discovered some of the sites where Hirohito's soldiers had buried the gold and the gold was stolen from China, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia and other countries occupied by the Japanese forces. And Marcos, and I think this is the major reason the CIA dumped him, got a little bit greedy and took that gold and started selling it under the market through selective secret Swiss banks. But he used the CIA asset, the Saudi billionaire named Adnan Khashoggi to help them get the gold under the market. And what he didn't realise was that Khashoggi would double cross him. He got a better deal from Bush Senior and the old boys.

LS: We have to say Khashoggi is a figure who is involved for example in B.C.C.I. and in Iran-Contra.

FWE: Back in the '70s he was involved in everything dirty that Bush and the CIA were involved in. B.C.C.I. Bank, the money laundering bank of the CIA, the arms deals, Khashoggi was a huge arms dealer during the Iran and Iraq war the CIA was feeding. He was involved in almost every dirty thing the CIA was doing.

LS: He was aware of this gold.

FWE: Supposedly he was helping Marcos to sell the gold out of the market. So he was not only aware of it, he was right in the middle of it. But then once Marcos was tackled by the CIA Bush got rid of Marcos in 1986. Then someone named Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Armitage and Khashoggi began to work with someone in Canada to create something called – Peter Munk was his name, a rather dubious businessman there – to found something called Barrick Gold of Canada and later it went on to become the world's largest gold mining company.

But Barrick Gold, all available evidence is that buried gold was used to melt down the – I don't want to get too much into the details of this but basically to melt down the Emperor Hirohito's gold that had been discovered by Marcos in the Philippines, to melt it down and use that as collateral for derivatives that would be the collateral used to take over the Russian Federation assets.

LS: The money was basically transformed into bank loans into Russia so that the would-become oligarch people could buy up those assets

FWE: Yes, exactly. So, Yegor Gaidar, the economic privatisation adviser of Yeltsin and his sidekick Anatoly Chubais privatisation had kind of guided this whole process together with Jeffrey Sachs and a group from Harvard University. #00:28:37-8#

LS: Yeah. Let us talk about this. This is known as Harvard Shock Therapy.

FEW: Well, the Jeffrey Sachs Shock Therapy, but the Harvard shock therapy is – well, what happened, the next phase of this incredible story and it's important to keep all this in mind, this is one reason that I wrote the book because of what was clear after the CIA coup d'etat of 2014 in Ukraine and all the sanctions against Putin's Russia and so forth, that if you don't understand what really happened in the '90s, the deep-seated hatred there is on these neoconservatives around Washington and their think tanks as well as, the US political establishment for Putin's Russia and the nationalism behind group Russia. You can't make much sense out of what's going on today with all these incredible lies and accusations against Russia for every crime under the book.

So, what happened is the, as I mentioned the IMF, the International Monetary Fund which had done a beautiful job for Washington in terms of, and George Soros and others in terms of looting the assets of the dead economies of Latin America, Yugoslavia, Poland and others during the oil crisis in the 1970s. The IMF was used and a group of economists around Jeffrey Sachs, a young professor at Harvard University then to impose what Sachs called shock therapy.

And the idea was that Sachs convinced Yeltsin, let prices rise through western market prices and this will increase the supply of goods, you know the stores had a paucity of goods back in the Soviet Times and get rid of trade barriers so foreign commodities could flow in to fill the shelves of Russian stores. The problem was that was a lie. The shops had been full. Okay, you could say it wasn't Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Fried Perdue Chickens or whatever, but they were full of Russian food products until November of '91 when Yeltsin announced that the exact date on December 31 st of 1991, that price controls would be suddenly lifted. So, shop owners immediately hid their goods and waited for December 31 st . So, suddenly the shops were empty and rationing was imposed and so forth. It's just unbelievable.

So, into this, this was Jeffrey Sachs on shock therapy and a group of Harvard University under the auspices of the Harvard Institute for International Development, a group of, among other things later documented CIA agents set up shop in Moscow and worked with Yeltsin's economic team Gaidar and Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais and themselves got in on the thunder the Russian East Harvard economist working. Now we have a transition in '93 through the Clinton Administration and there former Harvard professor and former World Bank Chief Economist Lawrence Summers became the deputy secretary of treasury responsible for the looting of Russia, effective and responsible for the gold economic transition in the Russian Federation.

And all of the key actors were named by Summers and they were all involved in the privatisation of Russia. They were all from this Harvard Mafia. For example of David Lipton, a former consulting partner of the Jeffrey Sachs, became deputy assistant secretary of treasure for former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and Sachs himself was named Director of Harvard HIID that oversaw the looting of Russia through the voucher privatisation and so forth. And they got grants from the USAID, AID works very closely with the CIA in different parts of the world, this is documented. And so it was really a tight-knit cabal around Lawrence Summers that oversaw this complete theft through these pieces of paper called privatisation coupons.

And what you had was the economic situation under Yeltsin had become so severe I mean people literally they had no jobs because of the freeing up of prices, they could afford to buy little or nothing. So, most people, millions of Russians sold their privatisation vouchers on the street corners to the highest bidder. And of course the would-be oligarchs were the ones with hard currency dollars that they could buy these things up as you pointed out earlier when we talked about them. So, they had credits from their friends in the West, the Riggs Valmet and so forth to buy up these vouchers and therefore they were able when the cost came up, were able to simply steal the property titles, the ownership titles of some of the most valuable investor assets and mineral assets in the world.

LS: And we can talk about this as a classical case of leveraged buyout – even though it was a covered leveraged buyout, if it was?

FEW: Well, you could call it a leveraged buyout. I know Anne Williamson has used that term, the earlier descriptions of it. I think it was simply legalised theft, leveraged buyout gives it too much dignity. That was a term that was quite popular in the financial world back in the '80s and the early '90s. But whatever name you want to give it, it was certainly not a conventional leveraged buyout, it was bizarre in every sense of the word.

LS: An influential figure in this was mentioned by you already, George Soros. And in 1994, as you point out in your book, he was described with the following words from The Guardian in London, "Soros extraordinary role not only as the world's most successful investor but now possibly fantastically as the senior most powerful foreign influence in the whole of the former Soviet Empire, it tricks more suspicion than curiosity." What was he doing back then in Russia?

FWE: Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. And in 1993 already the opposition inside what was left of Russia when the old communist party was in the Duma and so forth and the population generally was such that the opposition threatened to get out of hand and Yeltsin was forced to agree to hold a national referendum on the entire privatisation. So, this was in April of '93 and the referendum that was given to the population had four questions, yes or no. Do you support Yeltsin? Yes or no? Do you support Yeltsin's economic policy? Yes or no? Do you want early election for president? Yes or no? And do you want early elections for parliament? Yes or no?

So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. And so the media campaign and by this time most of the national media had been bought up by the oligarchs around Yeltsin so they were able to exercise undue influence. So they barely squeak through and got a yes to the privatisation scheme that Harvard, Jeffrey Sachs and George Soros and others had going on. And then of course Soros' company himself benefitted enormously from this privatisation just a little bit later when the auctions took place.

LS: A figure that connects yesterday with today is Vladimir Putin who came to international attention first in 1998, the same year when the ruble crisis took place.

FWE: This was 1999 and in August '98 you had the collapse of the ruble. This was part of the Bush "Operation Hammer's" original design. You had a huge scam going on in the GKO Russian Bond market where the interest rates were just unbelievably high. So, you had all sorts of hot money coming in, making profits and pulling it up including Soros Fund, quantum fund and so forth.

And finally, Yeltsin was getting near the end of his ability to hold this thing together. And he appointed in August '99, he appointed a young former KGB officer who served during the Cold War in East Germany named Vladimir Putin. And briefly Putin had been a deputy mayor in St. Petersburg and briefly had been the head of the successor to the KGB called FSB and the oligarchs around Putin, I've heard various Russian accounts have had this happen but Berezovsky, Brzezinski and other, the Yeltsin oligarchs thought they could take this young guy Putin and do business with him and you know that he was young and had no political base.

So, at that point Putin gave the ultimatum to Yeltsin, resign or face serious consequences and it turned out that Putin which has later been confirmed was the spokesperson for a nationalist faction within the intelligence community, a patriotic faction, call it what you want but Russian nationalist. And so Yeltsin was told, "If you resign and just get out of politics, we'll leave you alone." So he took the offer and ran. And before he did that he named Vladimir Putin as acting president until elections in March the following year.

So, Putin then came into power and called a meeting as it were of the most powerful oligarchs who had made staggering fortunes at the expense of Russia and he called them creators of a corrupt state through insider dealings and began criminal prosecution against oligarchs like Vladimir Gusinsky and Media-Most, a financial group led by Vladimir Potanin who is in the newspaper today and soon left an oil company controlled by a Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky. So, at that point Putin began the uphill battle of trying to stabilise Russia as a functioning economy. And the recent re-election of Putin indicates that the Russian people by and large support that effort of Putin's.

LS: Meanwhile he also had to react to something new that was taking place then and that was NATO was marching east.

FWE: The negotiations and this is, has been confirmed by former US Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock and that was the negotiations between the Bush administration in 1991 Germany and Gorbachev included a solemn guarantee as Jack Matlock, Ambassador Matlock who was in Moscow in '87 until '91 in this period. He said that we gave a categorical assurance to Gorbachev when the Soviet Union still existed that if United Germany was able to stay in NATO, NATO would not move eastward. So, of course that pledge like so many pledges of Washington under Bush successor governance was honoured in the breach and the newly created National Endowment for Democracy that I write about quite a bit in the Manifest Destiny.

You had, Vin Weber was the chairman of the NED at that time and he took US taxpayer money through the NED to supposedly bring democracy into former communist states. Then Weber was also a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neocon think tank which really shaped the personnel of George W. Bush in the year 2000 and 2001. And Vin Weber was also a lobbyist for the largest military industrial conglomerate of the US Lockheed Martin.

So, he was instrumental together with another military industrial Lockheed Martin, former Vice President for Strategy named Bruce Jackson, Bruce P. Jackson to promote back democracy in former communist countries including Russia. And they started the process of expanding NATO to the east in strict violation of the pledges that had been given back in the early '90s. So, by 2003, they had begun this whole expansion of NATO into Poland, into Hungary, all the former communist countries.

LS: And the countries at the Baltic Sea.

FWE: So, at the Baltic Sea right on the doorstep of the Russian Federation, and Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and so forth. And you began to see a very definite NATO encirclement of Russia. And then in 2003-2004, the National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros' Foundation, the whole arm of the fake democracy NGOs of Washington, began to create the so called Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and also the Rose Revolution in Georgia next door. And if you look at a map, if you bring a pro NATO government into power in Ukraine, this they did under Viktor Gerashchenko in 2004, then you're presenting a pretty formidable military threat to the national security of Russia.

Now, at that time 2003, Russia was in no shape to do much more than feebly protest as loud as they could but of course they were ignored. Then you had something quite dramatic in 2006, the end of 2006. The George W. Bush administration Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defence back then announced that they were installing ballistic missile defence now I'll get to that in a minute but it's anything but defensive. In Poland, in the Czech Republic and that those anti-missile defence installations which included missiles would be aimed at a rogue nuclear attack from Iran.

In early 2007, Vladimir Putin personally came as president of Russia Federation to the Munich Security Conference, the International Security Conference held here in Munich Germany and gave a speech which really defines the security position of Russia right up to the present date. He said of course this is not aimed at Iran or North Korea as Washington says. That's a lie. It's like taking your right arm to scratch your left ear we say in Russian. It's aimed at Russia. And we consider this intolerable as a threat to our national security and we will be forced to respond.

LS: And it is aimed at Russia as a first strike possibility.

FWE: Yeah. Well, the point about the missile defence is I – in connection with the book, I interviewed, in an earlier book I wrote, I interviewed Colonel Robert Bowman who had been briefly the head of Ronald Reagan's Star Wars or missile defence programme. And became a very, very severe critic of the Bush administration's reckless policies withdrawing from the antiballistic missile ABM Treaty and so forth, said that missile defence is the missing link to Nuclear Primacy. First strike capability.

And that's something that Pentagon planners had been opting for since the 1950s. And he said, "If you can block the counterattack from your opponent and you then have this possibility to make a first strike and wipe them out because they can't simultaneously fire an effective counterstrike." So, that in a nutshell destroys the whole cold war doctrine of mutual and sure destruction that kept nuclear options off the table up until that time. And the Russians understand military strategy rather well I would say. And said, "This is simply intolerable. We have to respond and we will respond but in our own way and you will see."

LS: And the Russians have reacted.

B: The Russians have reacted, and if we can go for a minute up until the present

LS: Please

FEW: On March 1st Putin gave an address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow televised to the nation. The beginning part of the speech, his annual speech there, was about the Russian economy and plans for the future. This was shortly before the Russian elections that overwhelmingly gave him a new term. But the crucial part of that speech to the Federal Assembly was Russia's military technologies and this is as he put it. He referred to that 2007 speech in Munich and he said, "We said at that time that Russia would have to reply and since the expansion of NATO to the east which really to be honest that's – see there is no reason after 1991 or certainly after 2000 for the existence of NATO other than the reason given when NATO was created by the first secretary general of NATO to keep the Russians out the Germans down and the Americans in."

But Putin's speech talked about nuclear primacy and the Russian response and he outlined the military are the developments that they had quietly brought online since Washington tore up, unilaterally tore up the ABM Treaty in 2002/2003. So he outlined an awesome array of missiles, hypersonic low flying stealth missiles carrying nuclear warheads, unpredictable trajectories, invisible against perspective missile defence and air defence systems, unmanned submersible vehicles to great depth that could go many times higher than the speed of submarines cutting edge torpedoes just and commentators in the West like CNN. They said, "Oh, this is just bluff and so forth."

People who know Russian military technology and the intensity of the kind of research and development that's focused on defending the nation confirm that this is no joke. Hypersonic aircraft five times the speed of sound, that's hypersonic and they have something called the [unclear] which goes 10 times mark 10 and as Putin described it, "This missile flying 10 times faster than sound can manoeuvre in all phases of the flight trajectory, overcome all prospective and aircraft county missile defences in a range of 2000 kilometres."

He outlined about six or seven of these I would call them not even cutting edge, bleeding edge military technology and as The Saker commented in his blogpost after the speech, it's indeed set marching game over for the empire. There's no more military option against Russia.

This all is to make a point that the entire history up until now, these fake accusations of Putin would have an interest or Russia would have an interest to meddle with the US elections when you have a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to accuse Putin and Russia of international violations of law by allowing a referendum to take place in Crimea after the CIA coup d'etat in Kiev and now it's come out from actual mercenary snipers that were brought in from Georgia under [#inaudible 00:55:08-0#] umbrella that they were paid by the CIA or promised to be paid by cut outs to the CIA to create the Maidan Square February 2014 chaos that led to the collapse of the government and the coup d'etat.

So, you know, this is not Russia is the arch Evel Knievel looking for a fight every corner of the world. It's not Russia doing bad things in Syria. It's Russia trying to stop a NATO and Saudi and other embedded destruction of the Middle East and create some kind of peace and stability. And anyone modest to take the slightest bit of care and follow this, they can read a running commentary on my website williamengdahl.com but not only there, it's all over the place. You realise that the fake media is the media that dominates and is guided by NATO public relations strategy in the West and it's not the so called critical media that's being sanctioned and censored right now.

LS: Let's talk further about the present, William, by closing one circle of our interview. As we've discussed the Russian gold vaults were empty since the early 1990s. This has changed since basically the financial crisis broke out in 2007, 2008, 2009. Since then the Russian Central Bank is buying gold like basically no other nation in a very rapid tempo.

FWE: Since the financial crisis and especially since the opposition of sanctions after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, it's been the policy of the Russian Central Bank and the Russian Federation to buy as much gold for reserves of the ruble as they can get their hands on. And they are now I think number five or number six in the world in terms of gold reserves and correct me if I'm wrong but just slightly behind the people's republic of China which has also been vigorously adding gold towards Central Bank reserves for the yuan.

So, what Russia is doing is creating a buffer gold, by the way in my view has never ceased being an object of value to stand behind currencies. If you have currencies like the dollar after all this 1971 when Nixon took the dollar off the bread and wood, gold exchange [unclear], then if you have a military you might or manipulate the oil price petrodollar and so forth, you can create money if you have the reserve currency you can create money without them. So what the Russia is doing is creating a security in terms of its currency and now that security is probably going to be tested by the economic warfare division of the US Treasury in these new sanctions.

But Russia is merging together with China. Interestingly enough after 2014 when the CIA coup d'etat Ukraine took place, Putin responded not by getting bogged down in the destructive war inside the Eastern Ukraine but he responded by turning east, strengthening his relationships with China, with the new president of China then Xi Jinping bringing the Asian economic Union which Russia is the leading economy in, together with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Armenia and others, bringing that in a coherence with Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative One Belt, One Road to link the infrastructure, the energy pipelines, the high-speed rail networks, the deep water ports and so forth to create a Eurasian, some people call it the land bridge but it's an economic space in Eurasia that would have the majority of the world's population, would have every raw material resource that the world needs including rare earth metals that China is world's leading supplier of at the moment.

And Russia has vast oil and gas reserves and military technology, civilian technology, an educated labour force that is probably one of the finest in the world and scientific country and so forth. And independent of the bankrupt economies of Britain and the United States and very rapidly of the European Union where this banking crisis has, since the crisis of 2008 has just been swept under the rug but it's ready to explode on a moment's notice. So, you have a depth loaded western NATO world. Let's call it a NATO world, a world of the NATO member countries and you have Russia together, which by the way, Russia has unbelievably small

LS: Debt.

FWE: National debt.

LS: Yes.

FWE: Something like 13 to 17% of the gross domestic product.

LS: And now they have this huge stock of gold relative to very little sovereign debt. It's almost ideal.

FWE: Yes, and that's by design. That is by Putin's intention to create this independence. And one thing, I am very often in Russia, have a very, very dear special friends in Russia over the years, the first time I was there was 1994. That was a vastly different, that was in the middle of the Yeltsin and the insanity. The Russians are very not only proud people but they are very determined and they protect their existence and have done that I would say for well over 1000 years going back to the great schism between the Western church in Rome and the Eastern Church in 1054. I think that was a pivotal date in modern history, the division there.

But certainly the Russians have gone through two World Wars and the rape of Russia under Yeltsin, unbelievable trials and tribulations and they are not shying away from defending their existence. That's something I think the west or certainly Washington with these neocons really doesn't have a sense of.

LS: One thing that I would like to ask you about as my final question is the following. You are a renowned expert for the geopolitics and the history of oil. And since this month we have a future's contract in Shanghai, denominated in yuan for oil and we also hear that the Chinese are planning to price oil that they import in yuan which is safe for this buying of oil internationally via yuan, Russia would be the candidate number one as the exporter?

FWE: Definitely. Most definitely and Russia and China are connecting their financial markets ever closer. The Russian government is the in the process sometime this year of issuing Russian bonds denominated new Chinese yuan. The announcing of the petrol yuan, the oil futures contracts being sold in Shanghai, ultimately it won't happen overnight but it's certainly off to a positive start in the marketing acceptance. That has the basis for taking oil sales.

Let's step back a moment to the 1970s and I document this at length in two of my books, Myths, Lies and Oil Wars and A Century of War. In the early 1970s when Nixon took the dollar off of gold, the dollar relative to the German mark and the Japanese yen dropped like a stone, something like 40% over a period of five or six months. And in order to stop that because the New York Banks were hurting quite a bit from that, there was a oil price shock that was orchestrated. I won't go into the details it's documented quite extensively in those two books of mine.

LS: And Sheikh Yamani had said something about this, too.

FWE: Yes. He invited me after reading my book to his annual energy retreat in London in 2000, September 2000. And then called me to a private dinner discussion at his home outside of London to talk about what I wrote about in the book. And he later went on CNN on an interview and mentioned my book by name. In the written transcript it's in there and in the television version they spliced it out so that you couldn't realise that it'd been in there. But Sheikh Yamani told me you are the first journalist or the first person outside of myself that writes correctly what happened with that oil shock. And that was manipulated by among others Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State and by a group in the Atlantic establishment called the Bilderberg meeting in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden back in May of that period before the Yom Kippur War.

In any case, the US circles around Rockefeller, who at that point was the chairman of the board of USA Incorporated, I would say. They had engineered a 400% price rise in oil and to make sure that Germany and Japan and other countries wouldn't make deals to buy oil in German mark but keep the dollar demand high and the dollar value high. They send a delegation from the US Treasury to sign an agreement with the Saudi Arabian monetary agency for a new relationship taking surplus Saudi petrodollars or OPEC petrodollars and buying US government debt.

LS: Yeah, and outside of the normal auction to privileged conditions.

FWE: Yes. In return, Washington agreed to give the Saudis tens and billions of dollars of defence equipment.

LS: Yeah, and Saudi Arabia would use its status as a swing producer in OPEC that it would only accept dollars as a pricing for oil.

FEW: And the quid pro quo was after 1975, this was formalised that Saudis would as swing producer in OPEC guarantee that OPEC sold its oil only in dollars and that held up until the time of Saddam Hussein during the sanctions shortly before the US invasion and Saddam Hussein began buying oil through a French bank denominated in Euros and not in dollars.

LS: And he made a plus, he made a net plus because he did sell his oil in Euro.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And so this, what that has done up until the present is prop up the US dollars despite the fact that the internal industrial economy import activity of the United States went down the tubes over the past 40 years since the taking the dollar off of gold and the, putting of English dollars for the world economy. So, the idea than China and Russia would trade in energy and that other economies would begin to sell oil to China, Iran for example is a prime candidate in the petro yuan not in petrodollars, this began slowly like acid drops begins to erode the reserve currency status of the US dollar. And if that goes, it's end game for the US as a financial global power.

LS: We have to make clear to our audience. The fact that you have to buy oil in dollar makes sure that you need dollar, that you acquire dollar in order to buy oil.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And so if this mechanism goes, well then the US has a problem because the dollars that are floating around internationally would find their way back into the homeland of the US.

FWE: Well, the other thing is that in order to sell now you have under this wonderful Trumponomics as I call it, you have projections that the US annual government deficit, shortage of tax income from tax outgo, spending outgo will by 2020 exceed one trillion dollars a year for every year as far as the eye can see. And by end of 2020, 2028 I think was figured by the congressional budget office, the US public debt is estimated to be well over $33 trillion, it's 20 now, 38 maybe, it's just out of control. So, if the ability of the US dollar to command use in the world economy is severely undermined, you're going to have to raise interest rates so high to sell this debt and it just becomes dysfunctional.

LS: Yes, but you have already in the last few years interest rates payments on this already existing that of per annum $400 billion.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And if interest rates go up

FWE: Yeah and that was under zero interest rates, but now, you know, if they have to put up interest rates to five, six, seven, 8% like it was in the 1980s. the whole thing just blows up sky high.

LS: And so coming back to gold, gold has the advantage relative to bonds or shares or the US dollar or other Fiat currencies that there is no counterparty risk. If you have the gold in physical form, there is no counterparty risk.

FWE: Right.

LS: So would you say that gold will be one of the ultimate winners of the ongoing financial crisis when it goes into full gear?

FWE: Well, it's documented that J. P. Morgan, Chase and other select banks with this collusion of the Federal Reserve have been artificially depressing the price of gold for years. Every time there's a new financial crisis, they intervene and keep gold within a very tight range. At a certain point that's not going to work anymore and then some people estimate to follow the gold markets much more than I do but it could quickly go up to $10,000 an ounce or even beyond that.

Be that as it may, gold as you point out has no counterparty risk and it's a historic store of value. It's one of the beautiful commodities out there and it has a special – the other just being special significance economically and historically, the other thing is that China is the number one mining producer of gold in the world today, not South Africa. South Africa has fallen far behind

LS: Yeah, and Russia is number three.

FWE: Russia is number three.

LS: And a lot of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are producers or are buying gold.

FWE: At the rail connections of the circle of the China Belt Road Initiative in part are aiming to go in the areas where there are known gold reserves but no infrastructure during the Soviet era to bring that gold down to market. So, we have an extremely fascinating prospect, not just for China and Russia, for the world really to build up instead of tear down, destroy and burn and bankrupt which is the only policy that Washington seems able to follow these days.

LS: Yeah. To sum it up with a famous Chinese proverb. "May you live in interesting times" – you and all the others.

FWE: We certainly do.

LS: Okay. great. Thank you very much, William, for this interview.

FWE: Thank you, Lars.


Omega a day ago ,

Two things:

1. Operation Hammer:

In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union.

Those resources would subsequently be turned over to international bankers and corporations. On November 1, 2001, the second operative in the Bush regime, President George W. Bush, issued Executive Order 13233 on the basis of "national security" and concealed the records of past presidents, especially his father's spurious activities during 1990 and 1991.

http://www.conspiracyarchiv...

2. Why can't Putin touch Yeltsinist oligarchs:

Yeltsin's oligarchs remained as rich as they were; Yeltsin's family still possesses immense riches. And Putin does not dare to touch them. He goes hat in hand to open a Yeltsin's Memorial Centre; he is courteous with Yeltsin's widow and daughter. Putin's establishment cautiously avoided celebration, or even mention of the Revolution centenary, in keeping with Yeltsin's anticommunism. This is the Deal.

https://www.unz.com/ishamir...

Fraser a day ago ,

Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable.

Guy Fraser a day ago ,

The rise has been astounding and all because they have a leader that can't be bought , not corrupt and loves his country. That is why he literally was swept in in the last election. The Western leaders will not admit it but I am sure they are terribly envious .

Tommy Jensen a day ago ,

Very good article to bring to RI also.

It open eyes on how the West political elite are a criminal rotten cancer syndicate and Georg Bush Sr. shows up to be even worse than the disgusting profile he already has in media and Georg Soros bad reputation gets confirmed.

No police or court are available to take this out. We only have John Connor or The One to count on.
Choice is the problem now. We will have to make a choice.

Play Hide
Nicole Temple a day ago ,

The photo of Yeltsin and Clinton that accompanies this article should remind readers of this story:

https://viableopposition.bl...

There is something rotten in Washington and it has been in existence for decades.

Guy a day ago ,

Great interview .William Engdahl is a very knowledgeable person. I have read a few of his books. Superb in my view.

Jimi Thompson a day ago ,

Quite a few unknown tidbits for me in all of this... very eye-opening even for someone that is aware of the games being played at the higher levels.

To imagine all of what remains unknown, including many of the players, leaves much to the imagination.

[Apr 18, 2018] The magnitude and complexity of the task Russia took on when it agreed to intervene in Syria.

Edited for clarity...
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 18, 2018 4:28:52 AM | 105

The Colonial ratfuckers recent unprovoked, lie-based attack on Syria got me wondering about Russia's apparent impotence. I'm quite uncomfortable with that notion but can't dismiss it completely because I can't get a 'handle' on what Russia's strategy is.

Steve Gowans' latest commentary on Syria sets out his summary of US/NATO's Permanent War agenda in Syria.

https://gowans.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/a-prolonged-war-in-syria-is-on-the-us-agenda/

Despite its pessimism (if one takes it as a 'realistic' assessment), it goes a long way toward explaining the magnitude and complexity of the task Russia took on when it agreed to intervene in Syria.

Being pessimistic, it doesn't broach the subject of potential Bright Sides to the conflict, or the flaws in the US/NATO Strategy.

One rather obvious flaw which came to mind is the fact that Neoliberal Colonialism has inflicted pain on almost every country on the planet and have recently underlined their God-given right to continue doing so ad nauseum - without opposition or consequences.

[Apr 18, 2018] The USA as a huge, immensely strong, obnoxious drunk that is being belligerent and needs to be arrested

That's a clear exaggeration. But the fact that the US elite is in decline is undisputable. Trump as a leader of free world. give me a break.
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bakerpete | Apr 18, 2018 9:01:53 AM | 117

@Hoarsewhisperer

While this isn't a great analogy consider the USA as a huge, immensely strong, obnoxious drunk that is being belligerent and needs to be arrested. The police show up, a bunch of them, and now need to corral the drunk. The drunk is so insensate that it can't feel any damage and the police need to be careful of how they use force. Generally the best outcome for the cops is the drunk trips and collapses whereby the police restrain him and hope he doesn't choke to death on his own vomit.

The USA is a zombie(drunk) country; dead but doesn't know it yet. Yet it is enormously significant in the world. If it suddenly collapses the rest of the world is going to be hugely impacted. While it has an enormous military it is extremely brittle and has virtually no depth; it can't sustain any meaningful military engagement for more than a couple of months.

Israel has created a really stupid situation for itself. It's dug this very small pit and stuffed it full of Jewish folk. A single nuke dropped on it would end the question of Israel. Yet the strut and bully like they are bullet proof.

In each case be too aggressive with them and they will panic. Conversely, and frustrating as hell, both the US and Israel have lots of leeway to cause mischief.

Russia and China are doing their best to patiently sheppard the USA along the path of its decline. They will grit their teeth and suffer humiliation but the alternative is a global economic collapse and many millions dying.

[Apr 18, 2018] Macron Napoleonic complex

Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

In the space of a few days Macron has:

Inadequacy much? How needy for recognition is this guy?

CHUCKMAN 9 hours ago ,

France used to produce some pretty fine leaders, but lately, it's like a different place.

Hollande was the most ridiculous, gutless thing we ever saw. He was laughably pompous and ineffective and dishonest and even cowardly, vis a vis the US.

Macron probably ranks second worst. He's making a mess of France, he's blubbering all kinds of nonsense about the EU, he's busy putting troops in Syria against all international law, he is not liked by the people, and he is virtually a French doormat for America.

Sarkozy showed the odd bit of promise, but he was largely talk with no worthy efforts. And he was immensely corrupt. Imagine taking 20 million euros from Qaddafi and then participating in the scheme to kill him? Or the case of the senile woman who was France's wealthiest woman, from whom he took many millions for his campaigns, doing so in private without other members of the family or strict legal supervision.

Hard to see the same country we saw in de Gaulle's time and that of his immediate successors.

Muriel Kuri 8 hours ago ,

'I am an equal of Putin' - well, he's right in a way - they're both leaders of a country. Beyond that, there is NO comparison. Maybe he admires Putin - which is good, if he tries to emulate him, even better because Putin, after all, is one of the few great current leaders of the world. Macron has a very long way to go, but with many years experience, if he gets the chance, MAY become a better leader than some, but never will be the match of Putin.

[Apr 18, 2018] Russia, China, Iran and others are increasingly concerned with curtailing the damage that the US can still inflict

Notable quotes:
"... The clearing of Ghouta puts a serious dent in this plan. Demoralizing the population of Damascus is now almost impossible. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Apr 18, 2018 11:59:00 AM | 145
Don Bacon
PavewayIV

The West wins by making Syria a hell on earth. That means no reconstruction funding, no trade, and continuous harassment by "rebels".

The clearing of Ghouta puts a serious dent in this plan. Demoralizing the population of Damascus is now almost impossible.

But Lebanon is only about 15 miles from Damascus, and US/Israel would have to deal with Hez at some point anyway, so why not sooner rather than later?

Grieved | Apr 18, 2018 12:00:50 PM | 146

@131 WJ and 134 Don Bacon

I appreciate this discussion.

On a side note I would add that 3-4 years ago when Ukraine was boiling, much of the discussion by concerned people focused on countries outside of the US, and the damage caused by the US. The US, in this context, was largely regarded as an evil but coherent entity.

But that coherence has now come more and more into question. Discussion shifted gradually, as the US made more and more mistakes and lost battle after battle in so many theaters, and revealed itself as a failing actor. And in the last year or two there's much more discussion about the US itself, largely trying to pierce the obscurity of how that country is actually run and by whom. This shift was already happening, and Trump of course added to the fascination.

I was glad to see that gradual shift. To me it indicated the war itself was won, while many battles were yet to be fought. I think it's true that Russia, China, Iran and others are increasingly concerned with curtailing the damage that the US can still inflict. Every day they increase in actual, effective power, and the US decreases in that power. Yesterday's battle will be fought differently tomorrow, because the balance of that power will have shifted again by then.

Syria has been an enormously useful magnifying glass to show us so much about the relative power balances of many nations. And even as the US lashes out in its death throes, it is increasingly cornered and stymied. The same is true of Israel. It's reaching the point - if not already there - that every move made by the US will result in clear damage to itself, with no gain, and no damage to its targets.

The other side has had sufficient time to wargame countless contingencies, and think them through and make preparations for them. Increasingly, it gets to choose what damage to allow and what to stop, because the costs of every action have now been calculated - and the passage of time reduces the costs too, so the equation constantly updates.

This is true outside of Syria also, in all theaters and on many planes of activity.

[Apr 18, 2018] The US Deep State doesn't want to "conquer" any country. Then they'd have to pay the bill for the destruction they caused... think an actual Marshall Plan, not the Iraq and Afghan Debacles. It is not trying to "win". It is trying to destroy those countries' ability to function outside the iron-fist influence of the IMF/BIS

Notable quotes:
"... Trumpty Dumbdy is trapped, just trying to convince his base that he really is getting the US out ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

A P | Apr 18, 2018 1:42:41 PM | 160

The US Deep State doesn't want to "conquer" any country. Then they'd have to pay the bill for the destruction they caused... think an actual Marshall Plan, not the Iraq and Afghan Debacles. It is not trying to "win". It is trying to destroy those countries' ability to function outside the iron-fist influence of the IMF/BIS/etc. banks/economy.

... ... ..

As for US operations in Syria being handed off "to others", i.e. to Prince's latest iteration of Blackwater/Xi/Academia, the last we heard of Erik was trying to sell a budget airforce/drone system to countries in Africa. What a joke.

Not going to happen in Syria, because Russia, Iran, Hezbolla and Syria would have no qualms about directly assaulting Prince's Kurd/Arab/Wahabbist mercenaries... Eric may be a self-serving parasite, but he's not stupid enough to directly take on the Russian military, or even the SAA for that matter. Especially with no NATO air cover...

Killary is not around to unilaterally impose a Libya-style no-fly-zone.

Trumpty Dumbdy is trapped, just trying to convince his base that he really is getting the US out of being Israel's and the Rothschilds' bitch, but that is not a potential reality.

It would involve dismantling the FED and cutting off the yearly $multi-billion military aid tap to Israel. I doubt he is smart or informed enough to comprehend the situation he is in. Any sane, intelligent person would walk away and tell the Zionist/Rothschild/Deep State to find another patsy.

[Apr 18, 2018] Polish movie " Ogniem i Mieczem"

Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Anonius on April 16, 2018 , · at 12:25 pm UTC

Addition, for the ones that want to see the Russian Tactics, I refer you to Polish movie "Ogniem i Mieczem". You will see how Hetman Chmielnicki (Khmelnicky) deals with Polish heavilly armed Hussars. Oh, yes Hetman is what we today would call Marshal (or not). I am pretty sure he never read Sun Tzu, just used his smarts. He simply kept sending fake attacks, thus keeping Polish Hussars awake and on their horses all night and then if this wasn't enough, He used the rain, which made Polish attack to simply collapse "drowned in wet dirt" and then he made his move and destroyed Polish army, which was on the paper heavier armed. All he needed to do is wait.
And this is how it's done kids. Russian Great military traditions are not forgotten. Have faith.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA9ZW2Iiv3Q
The battle I am talking about is at about 43:00

[Apr 18, 2018] Count on an inverted yield curve and Treasury Department derivative losses in the trillions on interest rate swaps sold to Wall Street banks

Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Rob from Canada on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:06 pm UTC

Count on an inverted yield curve and Treasury Department derivative losses in the trillions on interest rate swaps sold to Wall Street banks.

Wall Street banks have been buying surplus US government debt that the world doesn't want to finance huge budget deficits over the last 10 years and the Treasury Department sold them insurance protection against capital loses on that debt.

A lot of malinvestment in fracking and share buybacks with borrowed money has overleveraged corporations. Personal debt, corporate debt and government debt compared to GDP are at 1929 levels and a lot of that debt will be uncollectible.

The USA has kicked the financial can down the road for 10 years. It created a huge asset inflation bubble with borrowed money ie all malinvestment via interest rate suppression by the Fed that will blow up when the yield curve goes inverted signifying a financial panic is underway. That is the demand for short-term money(to borrow) is greater than the supply of money to short-term borrow.(to lend)

All I have to do is look at the SPX chart of the SP500 to know the US is FUKUS. The bull market that started in 2008 has started a head&shoulders topping pattern. In 2019 I expect 52-week lows to be hit and a bear market worse the 2008 financial crisis to be underway.

­
guest on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:52 pm UTC
People keep tossing out "The US economy is tanking, it is going to implode/explode/crumble sooner or later" etc., etc. Such beliefs may be soothing to hold but they do not rest on knowledge or economic literacy. Briefly, here is why.

Economies do not tank because of massive credit. Money Supply = M1 + M2 + M3, where M3 is the outstanding credit in the economy. The US M3 is huge because the economy itself is huge. Modern economies have moved away from paper notes and in future all money supply will essentially be M2 + M3. M2 (total outstanding bank deposits) and M3 are in turn fusing into one as credit card payments replace the practice of mailing out cheques.

Nor is high foreign indebtedness in itself a sign of future imminent collapse. Yes, it is worryingly high presently, but no it is not imminent that some sort of disaster will befall the US Treasury. No one forces the rest-of-the world to buy US treasuries, bonds, and stocks. Yet governments, corporations, and individuals from all over the world line-up to buy these. Ask yourselves why. The answer is: Money and Capital flows to low risk and high return zones. This is how it always has been, and this is how it always will be. Why do Alibaba and the other Chinese majors seek listing on American stock exchanges?

Yes, there are plenty of things wrong with the USA, and yes it may end up paying a dear price for its arrogance, aggression, and cruelty all over the world (not to talk of its collapsing morality, ethics and social cohesion at home) but there is nothing the matter with its economy. Those who wait for its supposedly "Ponzi scheme" to collapse will wait to eternity, I am afraid.

­
Simon Chow on April 16, 2018 , · at 12:57 pm UTC
@guest. I think your conclusion that the US economy is not tanking is blinkered. The US economy tanked in 2008 and would had crashed into a worse depression had not the Chinese held up the US economy (the Chinese also held up Europe by holding up the German economy). Alibaba is not the biggest Chinese company to list in the US. The biggest which is twice as profitable, twice the market capitalisation of Alibaba(more than USD500 billion) and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is Tencent.

The US economy and the US dollar was viewed as safe haven becuase there was no alternative. The US dollar and the US economy became a bubble because of the global demand for the US dollar resulting from there being no alternative. Besides the use of the USD is enforced by the US military.

But, if you have been following the latest economic development, that had changed. The US economy is no longer the biggest, certainly not the strongest. The US dollar is no longer indispensable. It's value is now perched on the edge of a sharp slippery slope due to US financial mismanagement and profligacy ala the late great USSR!

Its stupendous, useless, egoistic and hubristic military spending and other factors will push the US economy down that very slippery slope to oblivion.

But China will be waiting at the bottom of that slope to cushion the fall!

­
pogohere on April 16, 2018 , · at 8:12 pm UTC
SIGNS THAT THE US DEBT-FUELED ECONOMY MIGHT ACTUALLY COLLAPSE

An Awara Accounting Study on US Economy 2018:
Signs that the US Debt-Fueled Economy Might Actually Collapse
Main findings:

US debt-to-GDP to reach 140% by 2024

Net increase in debt could be as enormous as $10 to 15 trillion in just five years 2019 to 2024

Federal budget interest expenditure could reach $1.5 trillion by 2028, 25% of the total

There has been no real GDP growth since at least 2007

Growth of government debt has exceeded even nominal GDP growth multiple times each year since 2007

US reporting on national debt and inflation full of tricks

War budgets ripping open huge deficits

Skyrocketing social spending leaves no room for deficit cuts

Unfunded liabilities now a reality as Social Security and Medicare funds dry up

https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/signs-that-the-us-debt-fueled-economy-might-actually-collapse/

­
Rob from Canada on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:17 am UTC
No, it's not over Saker, but compared to 2007 victory is in sight.

First, my opinion is that the Russia/China asymmetric attack on US dollar hegemony will create a second financial crisis next year, worse than the one in 2008.

Second, in my opinion, Russia and China are winning on the most important Grand Strategic/Moral level of warfare for global public opinion. The UN votes are illustrative of that moral victory. Also, Qatar, Turkey and the Philippines switching sides are examples of moral victory.

"Facts simply don't matter. And neither does logic. All that matters are perceptions!"
That's the perfect strategy to defeat yourself.

"Those who defeat others are strong, those who defeat themselves are mighty." Lao Tzu

Napolean marched into Russia in 1812 with lot's of allies but left several months later with none.

I agree with MK Bhadrakumar assessment of the strike on Syria over your assessment. It's a moral defeat for the F#$%ing stupidest, exceptional nation on the face of the earth.

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2018/04/15/trump-opens-a-pandoras-box-in-middle-east/

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:29 am UTC
<>

Well, I'm not sure what old Lao was smoking on that day but if we replace the word "mighty" with "exceptional" then perhaps Trump fits the bill in a modern context.

Putin the Great vs Trump the Mighty (and Exceptional) who managed to defeat himself.

­
cdvision on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:32 pm UTC
Rob: my view exactly.

Russia and China have stopped buying US Treasuries, in fact are selling down for gold. The deficit if 1.3T will be more costly to fund, and the debt impossible to service. And China with the petro-yuan has tolled the death knell. Added to that is the dysfunction of the US political system. The mid-terms will be very interesting. I doubt Trump will see out 1 term, never mind 2.

And yes, the so-called US allies are fair weather friend.

­
Iris on April 15, 2018 , · at 7:24 pm UTC
Dear Saker;

Rob is right: the coming economic crisis will be nothing like 2007, or like any depression that occurred over the past century for that matter. It is the first time a cycle is ending with interest rates so low, so the trick of lowering them further cannot be used this time.
Even though hyperinflation is not happening because of globalised and cheap offer (Richard Duncan), Western economies are slowly collapsing under the burden of debt (Prof Steve Keen, Prof Michael Hudson).

The global Ponzi scheme will soon end, with major geopolitical consequence. The US, being given their history, will probably go to full blown war where this can bring most economic gains. The Chinese are fully aware of that, and are preparing for it All of their plans ( the OBOR initiative, the petro-yuan) depend on a strong Russia, The Chinese will not let Russia go down, their own survival depend on Russia.
All the best.

[Apr 18, 2018] The strategies put in place during the Yeltsin years to plunder the assets of the new CIS.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lozion | Apr 17, 2018 1:56:16 PM | 3

I know b is not fond of us posting content from other blogs but the Saker has just put up a must-read interview with a personal favorite author of mine, F. William Engdhal, entitled "The rape of Russia". Very informative, it documents the strategies put in place during the Yeltsin years to plunder the assets of the new CIS. Enjoy!

http://thesaker.is/the-rape-of-russia-saker-blog-exclusive-interview/

[Apr 18, 2018] A Note on KGB Style -- Central Intelligence Agency

Apr 18, 2018 | www.cia.gov

After collapse of the USSR the mount of infometion that has flown to the West is staggering. KGB might be then most open of intelleigence services in this sense. multiple defector probably created a very complete picture of the organization and its methods.

July 2, 1996

A NOTE ON KGB STYLE

Wayne Lambridge

The KGB like any enduring institution has a style, its own way of doing things. When we seek to understand the service and its officers, we should perhaps pay attention to how they do business as well as to what kind of business they do. This article is intended to raise the subject for discussion, to present largely one man's opinion. It is far from a definitive study.

By way of indicating something about KGB style, consider the implications for the organization as a whole of a communication system that carries one tenth or less as much traffic -- both electric and by pouch -- as its American equivalent. The KGB sends very few cables and its dispatches are infrequent. For maximum security, they are pouched on undeveloped microfilm, which is recovered and printed when the dispatch reaches its destination. Although Moscow headquarters does excellent and prompt printing, both exposure and development are sometimes haphazard in the field. Ten years ago, they were downright unreadable at times. Now, the quality is generally better. Volume, however, does not seem to have risen much.

The prints of the developed films are seen by the Rezident (the KGB Chief of Station) and by the case officer concerned. In large Rezidentury (KGB Stations) some intermediate may also read the traffic, but that is by no means always the case. The Rezident keeps a file -- sometimes in the form of notes or perhaps as copies of pertinent cables and dispatches -- for reference. The case officer keeps all his files in a briefcase or a notebook. Calling them "files" is perhaps misleading. It is better to say that the KGB officer keeps a movable In-Box. When a document leaves that box it is either returned to the Rezident or destroyed and the fact of destruction recorded. The case file is really in the case officer's head. The excellent memory that KGB officers often display concerning the details of their operations may well be traceable to the necessity of remembering the vital information on each operation that they cannot look up anywhere. Of course, when a new case officer replaces an old one, especially if the latter has been unable to brief his successor fully, complications may ensue. Illness, car accidents and PNG'ing have led to real chaos in some KGB operations when a harassed new man has tried to tie down the broken threads of a departed colleague's dropped contacts.

Although the amount of paper that he sees is small, the KGB case officer is held strictiy accountable for each sheet of it. When he destroys a document, a notation to that effect is included on a record. Even his scrap paper may bear a serial number and have to be accounted for. At the Moscow headquarters each document is sewn into the file by the senior officer directly responsible for the case. A special record of all documents in the file is kept by the case officer and its accuracy is regularly verified by the case officer's supervisor. Safe storage areas are locked and sealed with wax each night.

The ritual of sewing in the documents is often regarded as a waste of time by senior case officers in Moscow. Nevertheless, they would not dream of delegating the job. It seems to have a symbolic significance as an embodiment of both their authority and their responsibility.

The KGB case officer is his own intel assistant. At headquarters he does his own traces, gets his own documents from the archives and handcarries his own messages. Not too long ago, he also often wrote or typed his own dispatches. Even now he may write his own telegrams and personally take them and dispatches to his supervisor for review. In the field he is, if anything, even more responsible for doing everything connected with his operation except for technical surveillance and the like where he must call on experts.

The field case officer under official cover often works at his cover job about as much as do his colleagues who do not have intelligence responsibilities. This obligation is usually not as demanding on the case officer's time as it might first appear because KGB cover slots are usually selected so that cover duties complement intelligence tasks to a substantial degree. By contrast, other KGB officers have virtually no serious cover responsibilities and rely on the all-embracing security system of the Soviet colony to protect their true affiliation. In either case, the 'KGB officer is not expected to spend much time on the administrative or reporting aspects of his intelligence job. Within the limitations of his cover assignment, he is supposed to be out on the street, making contacts, working agents and performing other intelligence tasks, reporting only the highlights and the most crucial information back to headquarters.

In developing new sources, he will usually bring things along to the point where recruitment or some other substantial development is clearly foreseeable before asking for traces from headquarters or getting approval to go ahead with his plan. Local informers and support agents are sometimes picked up without reference to headquarters at all, except perhaps after the fact of recruitment. The KGB officer must account with some precision, however, for his operational expenditures and is usually quite limited in what he can spend for development prior to coming up with a concrete proposal for recruiting a source.

Once an agent is recruited or is established as a source, headquarters' control and demands for accountability are exacting, though never voluminous. For a recruited source with significant access, a senior officer, such as a branch chief or his deputy is specifically charged with responsibility for the case. Moscow's concern to insure that information is really coming from the source as described by the case officer and that the source is bona fide is very considerable. Somewhat by contrast, Moscow's requirements (outside of S&T operations) sometimes seem quite general, apparently leaving it up to the case officer and source to report what seems to them most important. On the other hand, reporting is expected to be factual and documentary, if possible. Sometimes the KGB seems obsessed with documents as the only reliable sources. Speculation is not usually encouraged.

In such a system of extreme compartmentation and vertical lines of communication and authority, the advisory role of staffs and other elements not within the chain of command is small. The First Chief Directorate, the foreign intelligence arm of the KGB, has a counterintelligence unit, for example, that actually takes over a case from the regular chain of command in the event that the agent appears to be doubled, compromised or in danger of compromise. The field case officer may remain the same, but in Moscow the Counterintelligence Service assumes full authority for directing the case. Deception and some types of complex political action operations often appear to be run directly by the headquarters element, Department A, that prepares the operation in Moscow. In such cases, of course, local assets of a Rezidentura may well be employed in support, but the operations are frequently run by specialists.

The typical KGB officer, trained in an environment where political agitation is part of daily fare, sees political action and propaganda as part of his regular routine. There are numerous examples of Soviet officers around the world who seem to concentrate almost exclusively on pushing the Soviet line on the issues of the day with whatever contacts they meet. To them the political approach is not something apart from spotting, developing, assessing, recruiting and agent handling. It is integral to that effort. Some do it crudely, some ineffectively, some with great skill. The point is that in almost all cases, it is a part of the operation.

In addition to politics, KGB recruiting and training of staff personnel emphasizes operational and area knowledge and experience from bottom to top. The main sources for new KGB officers are the institutes of International Affairs and Eastern Languages in Moscow. These institutions, which are better compared to the U.S. service academies than to other organizations of higher learning in America, prepare young Soviet citizens for careers abroad not only in the intelligence services, but for the foreign service, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Radio Moscow, etc. Assignment of a student after graduation is worked out among the various consuming organizations. The students are under what amounts to military discipline and are required to accept the assignment given them. Few students, see much difference among the organizations these days except for differences in pay, length and location of overseas service and other practical matters.

In the course of their education the students learn two or three foreign languages well and study the history and culture of the area in which they specialize in considerable detail, although current politics is likely tobe a much weaker course than history. Access to native sources is still circumscribed. A substantial number of students go for a year or more as exchange students or as trainees with Soviet organizations working abroad. As a result, they often end up knowing the area, its language, its politics, customs, police systems, local geography and so on very well. Although the old-style Soviet intelligence officer who was raised in the shadow if not the institutions of the Komintern and could recruit agents through appeals to an international revolutionary ideology are long since past, the newest generation of Soviet intelligence officers can be quite effective by trading on their precise knowledge of target personalities and the problems and frustrations of the countries in which they operate.

A KGB officer is ranked in his service by two systems. He progresses up the ladder from junior lieutenant to senior lieutenant and so on up to colonel and general. At the same time, he is classified as a junior case officer, case officer or senior case officer and then as he progresses further by his position, such as Rezident, which he may hold. His pay depends on his ranking in both hierarchies and there is no necessary coincidence between where he stands in one and where he stands in the other. The operational designations are based on his experience and performance as an operator. His formal rank is largely based on length of service up through major or lieutenant colonel. The chain of command is designated through the operational positions rather than formal rank. For example, a major of State Security from some other part of the KGB might be transferred into the First Chief Directorate under the designation of junior case officer and find himself subordinate to a senior lieutenant who had attained the position of case officer.

The phenomenon of marked disparity between formal rank and operational designation was probably more common during the period of considerable expansion of the First Chief Directorate's personnel ten and more years ago than it is today. At that time officers from other branches of the service were being brought into the First Chief Directorate more frequently than they are now. Nevertheless, the emphasis on operational experience and operational ability continues to be a marked element of the KGB style. The top officers in the service, for example, usually involve themselves directly in operations. They meet and develop agent candidates, they recruit and they handle agents.

In part this is a consequence of the strongly operational orientation of the KGB as a whole. A direct involvement in operations comes naturally to almost everyone in the organization. This operational orientation is manifest also in the concentration of relatively few cases per case officer. Generally, one man may handle four or five agents or targets under development. He is not expected to spread his range of intelligence activities further, although he may well be encouraged to develop a large circle of casual contacts from whom a relatively small number of serious targets may be selected.

From the foregoing one can see that the typical KGB officer is a man who sees himself in a strict vertical chain of command. He expects to do everything necessary for his operation without much outside help, except in technical matters. Depending upon circumstances, the case officer may be closely guided by the Rezident in a particular operation, but he is not supposed to discuss it with anyone else. (Gossip and shop-talk are endemic, however, in part to overcome the excessive official compartmentation.) Although the case officer is held strictly to account for the results of his actions, he is not expected to report on day-to-day developments to headquarters and in fact the capacity of his communications system is far too limited to permit him to do so. He is street-oriented in the concept of his job and does not put in a lot of time at the desk writing reports, reading guidance from headquarters or maintaining his files. When he has a problem he takes it up with his boss and he is generally not expected to have many problems. He is supposed to know the difference between what he really needs consultation about and what he ought to be able to handle on his own.

His boss in turn has the responsibility of not only guiding the case officers that work for him, but of ensuring that vital information pertinent to the work of one case officer but acquired through another is made available. In both operational guidance and information sharing, the role of the Rezident is crucial. There is virtually no lateral distribution of communications and an extreme emphasis on compartmentation. Although the rigid compartmentation of the system is probably a major vulnerability, superiors both in the field and headquarters are usually able to keep up with each case because they are not overwhelmed with paper. Relatively primitive (in terms of capacity) communications equipment and the custom that each officer prepare his own reports and keep them brief make it possible for such reports as do get written to be read all the way up the chain of command. The general in command of the First Chief Directorate has been reported on several occasions as reading all the incoming traffic. Much of the outgoing traffic is also signed personally by him.

The strictness of the chain of command and the limited amount of communications place a great weight of responsibility on each Rezident and on each case officer. As with all Soviet officials, KGB case officers have a norm to fulfill for the year and are usually called to account for their activities during part of the annual home leave in the Soviet Union. In a system like that, if something goes wrong, someone must be found to have been responsible. This can encourage an extreme of caution, particularly when the relations between case officer and the Rezident are not of the best or when the headquarters desk officer is not cooperative and understanding of the problems in the field.

Although we are accustomed to think of Soviet organizations as highly impersonal, in the KGB personalities and the private connections of individual officers are often crucial to the success or failure of an operation -- or a career. In many ways, the KGB is an organization made to order for the man who wants to claim all the glory for himself and put all the mistakes on the backs of his subordinates. Family connections or other personal contacts have special significance in this sort of an organization because they can provide a secure and effective second channel for communication in a system in which there is otherwise only one narrow route watched over by jealous monitors for all the messages an officer may want to send.

The emphasis on the role of the individual in the organization also has its advantages, of course. A capable officer, particularly one from an influential family, working under a Rezident who knows his business and will accept responsibility is likely to find himself in a stimulating work environment that may compensate very well for shortcomings of the service or the Soviet system as a whole that might otherwise disturb him.

While the KGB style as outlined above is in many ways admirably suited to running operations, it appears to have limitations in the way it makes use of the product of its operations and in evaluating whether the operations themselves are really worthwhile. There are enough instances on record to permit the generalization that in political matters especially Moscow is often reluctant to receive bad news. The ambitious case officer may find himself frustrated by pressure to conform, either from his Rezident or from Moscow, when he tries to report things as he sees them. To a large degree this is probably an inevitable manifestation of the extreme isolation from the outside world in which the Soviet policy makers live and their lack of exposure to unwelcome information. In addition, the emphasis on operations as such and the overall environment of the KGB, which is predominantly an internal security, criminal investigation, and antisubversive organization, probably discourages the kind of critical intellect by whom frank reporting, regardless of its content, is most prized.

This last consideration, the emphasis on an investigative, operational style at the expense of analytical curiosity, may well be the source of considerable tension within the First Chief Directorate today. Bigoted and inflexible ultimate consumers are problems enough. But also the older generation of KGB officers, including many of today's Rezidenty, was largely trained in war time and internal security operations. Their juniors, speaking broadly, are more academically inclined, more tempted to discourse on their theories, more interested in foreign societies and politics per se and less dedicated to fulfilling the obligations of the party and the state. They are often perceptive and realistic about developments not only abroad, but also in their own country. Bearing in mind the importance of personal relations and the dependence of juniors on seniors in the rigid chain of command, the signs we see these days of tension and cynicism among these younger officers should not be surprising.

As they rise in the KGB, we may see some organizational changes over time. If these changes preserve the laconic style of communication while at the same time do away with some of the most cumbersome and archaic aspects of the communications and records keeping systems, the KGB could become an even more formidable institution than it is today. The problem of encouraging intelligence analysis and imaginative, critical thinking is a problem for Soviet society as a whole. As a part of that society, the KGB shares the problem, but probably not in greater degree than other Soviet institutions and possibly less than many.

Judgments about the influence the KGB style has on KGB officers as individuals, about the implications for KGB operations of the way they do business, about the relevance of the style to Western operations against Soviet targets, and about many other related matters lead us beyond the scope of this note which, as stated in the introductory paragraph, hopes only to raise an interesting topic for further comment. If this piece succeeds in making the point that KGB organizational style is important to Western intelligence and that we should concern ourselves with it more than we have, it will have served its purpose.

[Apr 18, 2018] The topic of China is delicate here in Russia. If one considers the total and basically psychotic enmity from the West, offer of friendship from China is a godsend.

Notable quotes:
"... The topic of China is delicate here in Russia. If one considers the total and basically psychotic enmity from the West, offer of friendship from China is a godsend. ..."
"... If you read very carefully the articles written by high level advisors of Putin, you would see that they harbor no illusions. Russia itself contains a significant number of former apparatchiks whose "Russian soul" evolved through the 1990s to a point exactly resembling what you described about the Chinese. I am convinced that president Putin is a patriot, and when he meets this type of people, he recognized right away what they were, whether they were Russian or Chinese. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Antoni on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:49 am UTC

Shame on Arabs and China! My personal experience with Chinese convinced me that the real God for them is money. Beside collecting money by any means possible, these people have no other issue to talk or discuss. They had shown zero interest in the geopolitics or the dire situation of the planet, or suffering of humanity. They did not show any emotional or sentiment towards what is happening in the World.

Majority of them express some kind of inferiority complex towards West. China Will soon or later betray Russia, They do not think about any higher moral or human value, heroism, solidarity, except for collecting money.

But the Number one betrayal came from Arabs, 22 Arab countries, and some 90% of them are happy in their slave minded status. They are the biggest disgrace for humanity and Muslims. Some of them are more aggressive then their masters in the West.

If not for the virus of Wahabism which infected the body of many Muslims, there could emerge a true alliance of Orthodox Christians and True Muslims. Such an alliance would be undefeatable, even without money worshiping China.

Charles on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:31 pm UTC
Antoni, you know obviously what you are talking about. Especially since I myself am Chinese, and spent almost two decades coordinating the visit of Chinese officials and business folks to US, on behalf of the US government. This was my previous career, before I abandoned it and moved to Russia.

The topic of China is delicate here in Russia. If one considers the total and basically psychotic enmity from the West, offer of friendship from China is a godsend. One would not want to speak too undiplomatically about the Chinese mentality, and the current state of Chinese National psyche.

If you read very carefully the articles written by high level advisors of Putin, you would see that they harbor no illusions. Russia itself contains a significant number of former apparatchiks whose "Russian soul" evolved through the 1990s to a point exactly resembling what you described about the Chinese. I am convinced that president Putin is a patriot, and when he meets this type of people, he recognized right away what they were, whether they were Russian or Chinese.

The overseas Russian get very emotional at such trying times for their motherland. I more than relate to that. But they show a natural tendency to idealize everything about Russia, and gets instantly suspicious on hearing a different opinion. The same eagerness to believe is now extended to the new great Asian ally of Russia. I wrote something a couple of days ago to the same effect. The moderator even did not allow me to post. I hope now that this war charade has temporarily abated, the moderator would regain a minimal level of calmness and openness for dialogue.

Darius on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:30 pm UTC
"Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." – Mahatma Gandhi

Hizbullah, Persia, Russia vs China

The real power and fearlessness is not about numbers. It is about soul and its vibrant energetic radiation.
How can a small movement of people like Hizbullah be more vibrant and fearless and outspoken against oppression and international criminals then the so called giant nation of China?
How could Bolivia a small nation can be so to the point then China?

How can Iran (Persia) with its 70 millions people and totally surrounded by Kosher Nostra mafia can be so brave and standing tall against the international oppressors of humanity in compare to China, which doing practically nothing?
It is not about numbers, it is about power of soul, about life philosophy, about way of life, about believe in true and one God. So that is way Persians historically influenced humanity more then anything China can dream of.
There is reason why King Cyrus, is mentioned several times in Bible. There is a reason why Saadi poetry about humanity is written in the entrance of UN:

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you've no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain!

"Saadi Persian poet"

But perhaps, the most significant solid power and force which has not only the soul of justice, solidarity and humanity, but even instrument of physical power and ability to fight back a total war is Mother Russia. Despite its shortcomings, Russia is a gift from God, Russia is the historic Rom of our time, mentioned in Sura 30 of Quran (30:1-5 "To Whom Power Belongs" Declares the truth of the universe).

Russia may be is the second period of Zul-Qarnain mentioned in the Sura 18 of Quran. Russia is an exceptional Caucasian (White race, i personally do not believe in race ) people, (if we exclude Persians as Caucasians) which does not participate in the oppression of non-Europeans and blocking the total subjugation of planet by Western and its minions.

When you talk with Russians and Westerners, you will immediately recognize the difference. Russians are not arrogant and it is exactly what Quran describing a kind of Christians, who are not arrogant, but a people with love and affection. I have no illusions, but i talking in general terms, i talking about sum of all vectors and direction of this common vector.
Numbers are not important, historically majority always were wrong. Truth is still truth even you are a minority.

So, the conclusion is that, if I am right and if Russia is righteous and just and hold on rope of God, no force of this plant can defeat Russia. Russia does not need China, China is not a nation of ideology, faith or religion, they only believe in money, which is also the god of Western world and its minions. China is not a natural ally of Mother Russia, natural ally of Russia is nations with believe in God, justice, solidarity, soul and judgment day.
My personal encounter with Chinese convinced me that they have a completely different mindset and I was completely disappointed.

With love and respect to Russia and its heroic people

Charles on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:58 pm UTC
Yow Darius my man, you speak the truth. It is fire and light in one's soul, and nothing else. And if one might add, a preparedness to die, a simplicity and gentleness of character. Labels mean nothing.

Degeneration afflicted many nations, comes in many forms, it can be a well-mannered and finely dressed German so proud of himself, it can be an oily and greedy petty Chinese businessman, it can be a Mercedes driving Arab in front of some big hotel in Dubai.

Globalism is a satanic cult of our times. They are huge in numbers, but their souls are small, enslaved, and twisted. We have no fear of them. Keep well brother.

Ahmed on April 15, 2018 , · at 6:37 pm UTC
@Antoni

I agree with everything you said. I will take a more wait and see approach with China. I hope for the sake of the world they jump onboard. Ultimately the issue is materialism. The Anglo zios want to deal with a world in which everyone has a price on their head, so they can be easy to buyout and compromised. Since the Zionists are the one with the most capital, anyone who wants a piece of the world, will have to go through them. So that materialistic outlook the Chinese have, can be a huge opening for the zios to exploit.

The state of the Arab leaders are even more pitiful. A bunch of animals who are enslaved to their lusts, and desires. I would tell them to enjoy it, because their end will not be good. Most of them have sold out to the highest bidder(Zionists) a ling time ago.

Now the Wahhabi movement, what's left to say about this devious, malicious cult. If you're interested check this article out. It talks about the founder of the Wahhabi movement, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, and how he was in cahoots with British spy's who were looking for a way to bring down the ottoman empire. I have to do more research on this article, however as someone who has studied wahhabisim, I'm fairly certain it was a movement that had malicious intent from the beginning, regardless of the article I linked below. It's just somewhat hard to explain to non Muslim's because some of it deals with matters of theology. Anyways I enjoyed reading you're post. Peace my friend.

http://www.conspiracyschool.com/wahhabis

Pindos on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:49 am UTC
Imagine how many would die in a war. What is happening is acceptable and necessary losses. Russia and China understand this.
Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:54 am UTC
Saker says "But what could the Russians have done?" is the right question.
Ans: Provide advanced defensive weapons well-ahead of time so that the Syrians themselves can impose a cost.

In addition what the Russians have already done, why is Russia not selling advanced anti-ship and anti-aircraft weapons to countries in the cross-hairs of the West? Often, they talk about selling S-300 to Syria. Now imagine, Syria has Bastion, anti-sub weapons, and S-300. There will be costs to the West in this case. I think, this possibility is something Russia can do. Why wait, as it is obvious that promises by the West are basically lies. (Despite, dismantling the CW, the same argument is used to justify the attack. The Skripal case uses this method against Russia itself.)

What has the Russians got by withholding the sale of such weapons? What is the Russian calculus?

Arioch on April 17, 2018 , · at 8:48 am UTC
> What has the Russians got by withholding the sale of such weapons?

Those weapons was not re-sold to USA to make them research it and either clone or devise countermeasures or both

James2 on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:55 am UTC
Russia may take the issue economic route

They should target key UK business Like BP and other British entities and exclude them from the Russian Market – force majeur can be put into effect

Then do the same with the French

They don't need China for this.

the pessimist on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:57 am UTC
The attack was pretty clearly highly coreographed and followed strict rules that were not violated. The US provided a turkey shoot for the Syrian AD restricting the missile flight path to lanes with no typical deviations to confuse the AD. I'm sure this is what the Russians required in order to guarantee no response from them.

So there are a number of important questions here.

There was insistence that an attack must occur, despite Russian objections. The US and Russian militaries worked out a way for this to occur as safely as possible. Good that they pulled it off safely as it implies a high level of competence and discipline on both sides.

It seems likely from public behavior that the Pentagon thought this a bad idea and was fully aware of the dangers.

Where is Trump on this and was he forced to acquiesce?

It also seems clear that the pressure on Russia has not diminished and that the 'allies' intend to try and force an agreement on Syria through Geneva process that partitions the country and likely deposes Assad.

The Russian side said that the president of Russia had been insulted/disrespected and that there would be consequences for this action.

There has not been much effective push back in Europe to this policy of direct confrontation.

China is wearing a mask in public but is not pleased and has offered some diplomatic support in public.

I rate the situation as highly dangerous, unpredictable, with a great deal going on behind the scenes.

the pessimist on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:33 am UTC
As an addendum b over at moa has pointed out in his summary that while the US Defense Dept is claiming only 3 targets Russian and Syrian sources claim many more, specifically airports. I also read that B1s, I believe, used laser guided bombs in the attack and I have no idea what the targets were as all discussion has focused only on the cruise missiles. Perhaps more sites were targeted than was agreed upon.

Also, regarding the Skripal poisoning, Russia has obtained the evidence of BZ use from the Swiss OPCW lab, perhaps through back channels. I see this as hopeful – Russia does have friends in Europe, although the remain afraid or without the power to assist openly.

the pessimist on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:57 pm UTC
Postings in various places suggest that the US deviated from the agreed on plan and that the Russian jets that scrambled near the end of the attack put a stop to further deviations. Perhaps a broken promise like this led to the specific assertions of disrespect.

Thanks to the Saker especially and all the commenters for this forum and the robust discussion.

Mark Hadath on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:04 am UTC
The Saker's frustration is clear and valid.

However, I think Russian behaviour is consistent with the long game strategy. Syria lost three buildings and its citizens were celebrating in the streets. The US had the bulk of its missiles shot down. This is quite simply posturing by the Empire. I don't think the last 48 hours add to the perception the US can whatever it wants whenever it wants. If anything its the opposite.

I think the US will try again. Its attempt will be no more powerful or successful than what just occurred. They will continue to do so for many years yet. They will continue the delusional narrative delivered ad nauseam to its own people for another decade at least.

My point is that as each month goes by, it matters less.

The American hrandstanding is becoming white noise.

I am encouraged by the last 48 hours. I admire Russian restraint. I have for years now and I expect to continue to do so for some time yet.

ReneR on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:04 am UTC
What Russia does imo is trying to buy time.

As former analyses of you spoke of, the russians Lack the number of planes etc the Wallstreet-fascists have. This time they will use to speed up the stuff they need. The stuff Putin spoke off in his march speech. The provocation as much to to with it I guess.

And time Saker is not at the Side of the US, as the petro dollar Will be replaced and their debts Will reach astronimical figures. Remember China is a creditor of this fascist regime. Simply stop funding this moron shit. Why did China buy worthless state-papers from the US??

The americans didnt dare to kill Any russian a hoge difference to the event Pompeo was bluffing about. So ..?

Nathan on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:22 am UTC
China bought the worthless state-papers from the US because it give it's leader's the good life and the illusion of great wealth. If they sell off the Treasuries than that illusion with evaporate in hyperinflation. The Russians are only waist deep into the Global Economy, they probably can crawl out with some effort -- the Chinese are up to their eyeballs in it, they cannot.
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 8:26 am UTC
China was being pragmatic and keeping its major market afloat. Little point in being the factory of the world if the world stops buying what you produce through lack of liquidity.
I have faith in the Chinese leadership–they are ordinary people like everyone else but their culture and mindset gives them a clever edge that the west has lost, long ago.
Guest on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:07 am UTC
China is not bowing down. They however don't play the game with the same strategy as Russia does.
Jacobs Ladder on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:13 am UTC
It is indeed not over, because in history there is seldom a clear beginning and an end.

However, the Saker is being too pessimistic. The FUKUS coalition avoided the Russian positions (ie showed a wariness and respect), and Syria did stand tall in defending herself.

For Russia to have taken the bait and reacted reflexively would have been counterproductive. As things stand, no escalation occurred, and Russia comes out looking cool-headed and mature. In effect the good guys.

The US is in sharp decline. It's current behaviour demonstrates that it is in the final stages of Empire. Time is on Russia and China's side. To engage the US unless absolutely necessary would work to favour the US and against the rising powers of China and Russia.

Martin Giuffrida on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:14 am UTC
Kevin Barrett re-posted a Gordon Duff censored article re the SAA capturing a Takfiri chemical weapons facility in East Ghouta with western weapon components and reporting the capture of AZ personnel:

https://kevinbarrett.heresycentral.com/2018/04/duff-fb/

Some excerpts:
"The Syrian Arab Army and with the help of Russian captured a shipment of chemical weapons destined for the Eastern Ghouta. These were British weapons produced at Porton Down in Salisbury.
"American, British and Israeli military personnel captured in Syria have confirmed they were ordered to stage chemical attacks in East Ghouta by their governments.
"The Americans are still being held along with Israeli's while British prisoners are being negotiated for. Sources in Damascus told us that representatives of Oman in Damascus approached the Russian Office of Reconciliation on behalf of Britain for the return of British chemical warfare personnel.
"The shells are identified as VX gas from British stockpiles.
"Russian officials in Syria informed Britain through Oman that they would have to directly deal with Syria for the return of their personnel. We have received no further information since, Damascus has remained silent on how or if negotiations were proceeding.
"Last week, VT Damascus received evidence that Americans, US Army Special Forces along with Israeli chemical weapons officers had been captured in East Ghouta. We were told that not only was a command facility captured with modern weapons but a stockpile of British made 81mm poison gas mortar shells, numbering in the hundreds, was seized as well.
"Videos were viewed by former MOD weapons specialists who identified the green stripe on the shells seized in East Ghouta as VX gas from British stockpiles."

Just pencil in that article.

My comment:
Regarding Russian response, my feeling is Russia recived plenty of assurance the US was unwilling to hit Russian facilities, and got special corridors for attacks. The Russians could sit this out and watch and the US failed in a major way again militarily against only Syrian defenses. I think it is a wise principle for Russia to avoid the temptation to reveal the real power of its weapons prematurely until there is a real need for them at which time they may be a rather significant surprise.
-Martin

Nathan on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:15 am UTC
Saker,

I view Russia's position as unassailable. After the bombing of Friday night is it even conceivable that the US could ever gain air superiority over the Russian homeland? Yes the attack was made with second-tier missiles at third-rate targets without the element of surprise and poorly coordinated, but it was still easily repelled by a combination of Soviet-era junk and modern EW equipment and radars. Even those in the West who are apathetic, if they are listening at all before they change the channel, must at some unconscious level realize that the US could not have a "perfect" air strike with over a hundred missiles and destroy only three unoccupied buildings.

A conventional WWIII of any length of time will destroy the Global Economy. The Russians will win easily simply because they are tougher and more prepared. They may not desire that outcome, but of all people they probably have the best chance to survive. Except if the nukes end up being released by accident or through escalation. So the Russians, being just about the only moral actors around, have a moral responsibility not to fight back until there is no other choice.

NOTE: Not that all western nations or the people within them are immoral actors, the greater population and smaller countries are just bystanders.

sallysdad on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:24 pm UTC
I am not convinced the US used second-tier missiles. These were launched from active duty warships and I can only assume it is the standard cruise missile weapon employed. There is way too much not yet known about the details of this operation.
If, and it is a big "if", the missiles moved along agreed corridors, it is not surprising so many were shot down.
As I say, so much is not yet known.
Nathan on April 16, 2018 , · at 12:21 am UTC
I always figure that the best stuff is under wraps, although available in no great quantity.

BTW, I think a technology that isn't discussed much is passive detection systems, which may have taken the element of surprise away from standoff weapons.

pogohere on April 16, 2018 , · at 8:46 pm UTC
The A-Ha Moment.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Here comes this important question of purely tactical nature which many flag-waving uber-patriots miss completely, while, I am sure, Pentagon and not only, is puzzled with what went wrong. The question is not about excellent performance of Syrian AD–what and how about this performance are being unveiled with each passing hour. Russian EW? Absolutely, no doubt it. Massive shooting down of Tomahawks and Scalpel TLAMs? Absolutely. But, but what about JASSMs. It is conceivable that these were they Trump was bragging about in his idiotic twits when spoke about those "Smart" missiles that "are coming". There are still no firm numbers about the number of intercepted JASSMs, what is clear, however, is the fact that many of them were intercepted. If JASSM passes today for "Smart", it kind of puts good ol' Tomahawks, logically, into the category of "Dumb". Obviously, as latest Syria's experience shows, Tomahawks are not an overwhelming threat, as they were positioned as for decades, for truly (not in Saddam Hussein's, or, rather US media, way) highly integrated and EW capable air-defense system.

But JASSMs, "stealthy" and supposedly "Smart", even by preliminary data pouring in didn't fare much better than Tomahawks and this was against Syrian AD assets which are pretty damn old. So, what about "stealth"? Ah, but in the modern signal processing, including well developed now sensor-fusion (or data-fusion) techniques it really doesn't matter for advanced adversary. But that is purely technological aspect, however influential for operational and strategic levels. Truly global, geopolitical issue is this, as Apps concludes:

Therein lies one of the greatest challenges of this situation. In 1990, after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, the George H. W. Bush administration was relieved to find that Russia – then still in the hands of Mikhail Gorbachev – was inclined to avoid turning the conflict into a Cold War-style standoff. In the years that followed, successive U.S. presidents became used to acting without such worries. Putin has now successfully signaled that those days are entirely over.

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/search/label/JASSM

Izaates bar Monobazeus on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:16 am UTC
No it ain't over. It has just begun. Call it the great tribulation or Jacob's troubles or whatever you like but understand we have another half dozen years to go. In any event Daniel says Damascus will have terror fall upon it at night and become a smoking ruin byvmorning. So Damascus will fall to align reality with prophecy. The ultimate vanity.
Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:17 am UTC
"The Chinese and the rest of them are not willing to do anything at this time to support Russia."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-15/china-arrogant-us-has-record-launching-wars-deceptive-grounds

Anon on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:17 am UTC
Yes, it's over.

The recent events are complete theatre but the first act is about setting up the second act.

In the second act, America's tough actions force Iran Russia and Syria to the negotiating table where a grand accord is hammered out.

In the third act, the Empire cuts its losses and gets the fuck out of the ME because it no longer has interests there. Israel BTFO. KSA BTFO. They are really the worst allies ever.

In the epilogue Russia becomes the main broker in the ME and balances out the competing interests while keeping the peace. France and England BTFO. Nobody wants these douche bags around anymore. America goes back to squabbling in South America and Asia where it arguably does have strategic interests.

FURNARIUS on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:19 am UTC
The world Zio-Massonic movement has just shown that it can not dispense with provocations and plots that can unleash bloody world wars.

The United Nations are a farce and should be dismantled!

Just remembering, it is always England and Judea that press for war as they did in 1938-1939 or release the great and relentless butcher – the only true holocaust – 1914-1918 !

Jake on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:20 am UTC
There is another possibility: These "empty strikes" were strictly intended for domestic consumption. Consider: The US openly telegraphed the coming strikes. Syria and Russia cleared some areas for the West to hit that would result in no injuries to personnel and limited damage to infrastructure. The West dutifully hit those evacuated areas and proclaimed "Mission Accomplished". Syrians danced in the streets for "surviving" the missile strikes while Russia threatened consequences. What form those consequences take will tell us if these countries are merely dancing a rather peculiar dance together or whether they are about to starting fighting in earnest. So far Russia has been playing it cool as a cucumber, but these strikes – empty as they might have been – demand some sort of response or Russia will risk looking weak. The fly in the ointment is Israel and their attack on an Iranian base within Syria that reportedly killed 20 Iranian officers. Will that loss of life influence Russia's response after the West made every effort to avoid drawing blood?
Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:59 pm UTC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF60VV3G3_Y
mike k on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:28 am UTC
Saker, many commenters here give me the impression that they will go to any lengths to reassure themselves that we are not teetering on the brink of all out nuclear war. All of their theories and reasonings seem to avoid facing that grim reality. Is that also your impression, or have I misjudged your position?
Simon Chow on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:30 am UTC
I think this blog may have misread China. I think I can read the Chinese mind and the 'Western' more subtly since I am ethnic Chinese but educated in the 'West'. But I follow Sun Tzu and therefore will not expound anymore on China's strategy as far as the Yanks are concern lest they are wised up.

Suffice to say that a catastrophic decline of the empire ala the Ottoman Empire which led to WW1 and WW2 due to fighting over the spoils, is on nobody's interests, not even Russia's.

The best case scenario is to ease the Yanks into a break-up ala the late great USSR.

China's economic, diplomatic and political strength will be critically needed to do this and to rebuild the new independent states of Western North America, Eastern North America and the Southern Confederation.

Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 6:37 am UTC
A Chinese Empire with its new social contract would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
Simon Chow on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:20 am UTC
Anonymous. No Chinese empire. The Chinese don't want to occupy other countries. Too troublesome ruling them. Philippines president Duterte recently suggested half-jokingly that the Chinese should just make the Philippines a Chinese province. China don't want that. Just to make the Philippines more prosperous and stable in order to trade with it – which is far better. If China wanted make the Philippines as its own province, She would have done so 600 years ago when Admiral Zheng He sailed his then unmatchable in the South China Sea and onwards to India, Persian Gulf, Africa and possibly beyond.
Bro 93 on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:35 am UTC
Over?

"It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra

Which means never, unless you're talking about the individual organism, is it "over".

So get over it never being over.

What would you (we) do if it were "over"? Contemplate our navels??

Oh, you mean stress inducing bluster , bluff and brinksmanship of a dying entity. What else has it got, except blowing itself and everybody else up?

Patience, perserverance. Look at the reaction in the US. Don't forget this terrain, even if Trump's Unreality Show self destructs.

Is there progress? I think there is. None but the most cretinous deplorables are so stupid as to cheer the Donald in the last week. Most are dismayed.

And even Alex Jones is allowing open talk of Israel's Empire role in putting DT on this war mongering course that those who buy his supplements refuse to buy .:

https://youtu.be/IabdFIMCTfM

Although Dr P is the one to explicitly state that Israel is a total liability.

So I wouldn't quibble too much about AJ and his mistakes and prejudices. Weaker on Israel than you would like but as good on Russia as you can expect.

Stupid on China. But Dr P isn't. And anyone watching can see that and see that AJ panders to his base's fears and prejudices.

But if they are wising up on Israel (as they have!) they can wise up on China and the whole picture, as well.

Who would want that process of improving consciousness to end, to be "over"??

To relax go back to what??

Actually, I like Snow Leopard's comment the most. And I am contemplating a surgical procedure on my navel, soon. It's just that Action is part of Being, and I see certain actions other than handwringing and brow wiping being more productive right now. Especially in terms of encouraging the process in the US where increasing numbers of people are realizing they have to think and act to grease the skids for the out of touch geriatrics like McCain, Feintsein, Pelosi, etc .or DT will go out with them, if he keeps acting just as ridiculously untruthful as they are.

one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:16 am UTC
'ridiculously untruthful' -- - that and deceit is the sea that the Donald has swum in his entire life, do you really believe that he could recognise reality if it smashed him in the face like a two ton truck?
Precious little chance of that happening in this lifetime, I'd say. It is by now part of his cell make-up and ineradicable.
Ahsahyah on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:54 am UTC
The US has backed Russia into a DEEP, DEEP corner . Sooner or later Russia will have to respond to the AmeriKKKan madness or surrender and become a vassal State like Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea .After Syria is Iran and China. If Russia goes so is China. Now is the time to stand upp to AmeriKKKa (the empire of chaos)
Check out the work of Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.org and Professor William Engdahl
Simon Chow on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:57 am UTC
All I can say at this stage is that Sun Tzu said not to fight out of anger, fear or enemy's provocation to a fight. Russia should stay cool. Pick carefully the battlefield (not necessarily a battlefield like Borodino), pick her own fight (not necessarily in the battlefield with guns and missiles but just as decisive) and pick the issues to fight for. This way retain the initiative and not let the enemy drive and maneuver Russia. Drive and maneuver the enemy instead.

The full-frontal 'love-in' with the Germans in WW2 is a no no type of war to be avoided. If unavoidable, must be very well prepared. But both the West and the semi-West seem addicted to the prospect of such an 'orgasmic' love-in. They seems locked into the paradigm of such logic. But beneath the rationalisation is simply a love for war.

Here is an extract from Richard Lovelace on the English Civil War. He reflects accurately on what, me as an Oriental, views as what drives the West's and the semi-West's mindset to war:

1) Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the Nunnery
Of thy chaste breast, and quiet mind,
To War and Arms I flee.

2) True, a new Mistress now I chase,
The first Foe in the Field;
And with a stronger Faith embrace
A Sword, a Horse, a Shield.

3) Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
Loved I not War.

Some version replace the last line in stanza 3) with: "Loved I not Honour more". But you get the drift. "war" and "Honour" (in or through war), are essentially the same.

So Russians, please calm down.

Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 1:29 am UTC
Speaking of Borodino, we must not lose sight of the fact that the Russians not only repelled Napoleon, but crushed him definitively in the end (thing somehow overlooked in 'histories' of the 1812-14 war genre 'War and Peace') and reorganized Europe on their own terms. Of course, it did not last too long (due to the usual British treachery), but the subsequent attempts to destroy Russia ended in the same way. Now if Hitler has not learned anything from Napoleon, how do you expect a Tramp like Donald, to learn anything from Hitler (and the Kaiser and Napoleon, for that matter)?
Simon Chow on April 16, 2018 , · at 6:32 am UTC
Yeah, the Yanks know about Borodino. So unlikely they will attack that way. They are trying to provoke Russia into making a mistake and self-impale!
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:31 am UTC
I am in complete agreement with you Simon. All indications are that Mr Putin and team has a firm grasp on reality also, whatever that may bring in the future. It may not be too pretty for the western sphere but delusion and rank stupidity never has a pretty outcome.
Albrecht on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:58 am UTC
Not over. Not even close. The reason this isn't over is that the causes and conditions causing the root of the problem have not been dealt with. The cause of the problem can only be dealt peacefully through diplomacy. In the Empire's current configuration diplomacy is near impossible as there is no competent partner to negotiate with on this side. The Empire will signal their openness to negotiation by removing Bolton aka Captain Crunch, Haley and their ilk. This doesn't seem likely and I'm not sure who a competent replacement would be.

In short, prepare for war.

Mike Reich on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:00 pm UTC
Russia needs to sell to Syria and to Iran ~30 nukes each plus delivery vehicles able to reach New York (thus also Israel, Paris, London). Also S400 systems to protect nukes enough to guarantee launch. Syria and Iran then declare next attack from any of the Gang of Four states will mean a nuclear response to all.
mikhas on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:01 pm UTC
You forgot to mention that without adults Mattis & Dunford, WW3 would have started the last time they "bombed" Syria, now because of they talked the volatile, impulsive and emotional Trump out of it, it landed on a compromise, on Moscow's terms.
Alan on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:06 pm UTC
The PRC is one of the only other 2countries that supported the Russian UN resolution, so it's not clear to me what the Saker is referring to re "just standing by" ? Do you expect PRC to send troops to Syria? has Syria or Russia made such a request or invitation? Do you know if such a move by the PRC has wide support by the Chinese public? Please do not respond with nonsense like public opinions don't matter in china. The Chinese government uses public opinion polls frequently and widely. Fact is I believe majority of Chinese are also affected by all the lies from the western msm, especially the well educated elites, most of whom studied in the West. This explains why their Global Times pieces tend to be much more pro Russia than their better educated elites
grrr on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:35 pm UTC
Diplomacy??? It degraded beyond recognition. We used to have the likes of Jeane Kirkpatrick. Now we have geniuses like Samantha Powers and Nikki Haley. We also had a joke of an ambassador to Saddam's Iraq that triggered 1-st Iraq war, although I tend to think (more and more lately) that her blurb to Saddam was a deliberate in order to advance Bush's understanding of his "new world order" idea.
Serbian girl on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:52 pm UTC
Yes, but the previous UNSC meeting where Russia submitted a text requesting a full and objective investigation of the chemical attack in Syria only Bolivia voted yes. China abstained! So Russia looked isolated just prior to the attack
Hydro on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:11 pm UTC
China abstained on the US-sponsored "poison pill" resolution which was set up to be vetoed, and allowed the US to say they tried to resolve the chemical attack diplomatically but since the resolution was vetoed the only avenue left is to retaliate by missile strikes. However, China voted FOR the "clean" Russian-sponsored resolution to investigate but this seems to be lost.
Serbian girl on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:29 pm UTC
Yes you are right. So there we're a total 4 resolutions. 3 resolutions on chemical weapons investigation and 1 on violation of international and UN charter.

For the chemical weapons: Russia submitted 2 resolutions and US 1. None of them passed. China abstained on one, the US one, which Bolivia and Russia vetoed. Here are the links:

Security council fails to adopt three resolutions on chemical weapons use in Syria
https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/04/1006991

And then there was last one on violation of international law and UN charter also didn't pass:

Russia's UNSC resolution calling to stop aggression against Syria does not receive enough votes
https://www.rt.com/news/424171-unsc-russia-resolution-syria/

grrr on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:19 pm UTC
It is impossible to quickly overcome a ~30 years misguided attempt to impose physical hegemony forever. No complex dynamical system deviates from stable trajectory for too long and too far without breaking apart. And since nobody wants (or foolish enough not to be afraid) of a WWIII (a.k.a. breaking the system apart), the US will be forced to change its guiding principle of perpetuating its sole hegemony. Hopefully sooner than later and peacefully.
ThereisaGod on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:21 pm UTC
Is Putin not putting himself at a huge disadvantage if he allows the carriers group now crossing the Atlantic to get close to Syria and Russia. As this confrontation is obviously not over should Russia not draw a red line at the straits of Gibraltar or somewhere?

I don't understand military issues but can see that the USA/UK/France cannot in the slightest way, be trusted to do anything other than wait for what they perceive to be a moment of advantage, then attack.

Coast Guard on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:34 pm UTC
I saw him in a fastboat carrying an RPG. He'll be stopping the carrier task force momentarily.
Don't worry. They won't get close to Syria.
Justice coming for US on April 15, 2018 , · at 1:22 pm UTC
I understand he has a "Dagger" or six under his arm. Not only will that stop the Carrier Group, it will place it where it belongs. At the bottom of the sea.
ReneR on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:24 pm UTC
Another possible option would be to simply bring the Warsaw pact again new life.

The US in the past didnt dare to attack pact-members in the cold war. Now we have a situation that the US considers other States as his toy for torture.

Syria, China Venezuela Belarus, and Donbass even North Korea should become members of it.

ThereisaGod on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:25 pm UTC
It is dreadful to have to wonder if the history of Donald Trump's ***** might play a major role in the continuance or otherwise of life on earth.
gatobart on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:29 pm UTC
Two days ago Vladimir Putin was handed the worst and most humilliating political (and military) defeat of his entire life, something that in other, more normal times, would have immediately forced a man in his stature to resign his post and go away (Chamberlain anyone ?) yet his own adoring fans seem to be the only ones who haven`t noticed it, preferring instead to keep living in that universe of denial they have been dwelling in for years already. What shows best the extent of this attitude of denial is the fact that they were gloating about the fact that Russia didnt even intervene–contrary to what the man himself had promised he would do only a month ago if one of Russia`s allies was attacked. By now is evident that his word is not worth the saliva that was wasted in saying it and that the US has absolutely no respect for him or for Russia. There are just two things to notice to see the truth in these words: a gloating, exulting Nimrata in the UNO, knowing well how cheap was for her and her country, or rather her neocon masters, this victory was (Russia didnt do a thing, so no WW3) and the headlines in the web "Russia furious". If there is still any doubt about this conclusion, well, beware, the Gang Of Three now plans to present to the UNSC a proposition celebrating the illegal attack on Syria of the 14th and they intend to invite ALL members of it, including Russia, to accept it and take it as a fait accompli. But that will be only a prelude for what is to come, which is of course the demand by the U.S. that the UNO accepts her way of conducting business as the norm, as something they will be able to do in every possible occasion they will wish to do it. Which means, more fake chemical attacks and more bombing in Syria until Russia is thrown out of the country. So much for our master chess player in the Kremlin. Only last year he was still insisting, against all caution and the warning of people as knowledgeable as PCR, that his first priority in foreign policy was a good relationship with Amerika, see how well he has done in this regard (Chamberlain anyone, again ?) All in all, things wont become better but much worse after this devastating defeat of the master chess player, they will only become worse until they get him and Russia cornered and with only two possible options, which we all know well. This is not about Russia being alone or being weaker than the US NATO gang, it is all about Putin`s deliberate policy of putting above everything else his vain and useless attempts at being respected and even liked by his worst enemies, the Western elites.
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:48 am UTC
I thank the gods that Mr Putin is not as simple minded as the picture you have just painted.
Nano Bagonghi on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:30 pm UTC
Regarding China. China it's a great and powerful nation with a vision and a strategy that span far in the future. His policy has always been to go on with extreme caution and as low as possibile exposure. First and foremost she takes care of his own interest, as any other, however. His main opponent is, that for sure, the "western" empire. In this long term fight, China finds herself in company of other nations who are fighting the same long term struggle. Yes, China doesn't share the same cultural, historical, ethnical heritage with Russia, wich in that regard is part of the Euro family, but shares a vital, long term surviving fight with Russia (and Iran, Syria). This is a matter of fact that can not be underestimated. So, in long term, and in spite of some annoying behavior, I'm quite sure that China will stand with Russia. I read that Chinese warships were placed in front of Syria together with Russian navy, maybe someone forgot that, this is a strong message to me.
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:51 am UTC
To me also, "This is a matter of fact that can not be underestimated."
Jean Lasson on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:31 pm UTC
Did you read this post from Paul Craig Roberts :
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/04/14/russias-humanity-moral-conscience-leading-war/ ?

I side with PCR. Only a public military humiliation can stop the Empire. Russia had a golden opportunity to inflict such an humiliation yesterday and she missed that opportunity.

Let's suppose that Russia downed as many attacking warplanes as possible, whatever their location was, plus a few ships like the USS Donal Cook. What would happen next ? Would the USA launch their strategic missiles on Russia ? I very much doubt it, since the US know as a hard fact that they would be destroyed in retaliation. MAD has been restored. The would have no military response at all and the whole world would see it. And this would have been the end of the Empire, with many vassals leaving it.

Of course, such strikes will happen again. Let's hope that Russia will strike back then.

Ozzie on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:12 pm UTC
The public is brainwashed because they are hooked to the mass media and they are the product of our "educational" system. Americans are about sports and shopping. A good portrait is the rabbits of Watership Down.

In 1958, I still believed that there was a significant intellectual difference between the American bourgeosie and the cattle one sees peering between the slats of large trucks as they contentedly munch hay on their way to the abattoir.–R. Oliver

mundanomaniac on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:32 pm UTC
Donald T' s inheritance was a loose canon. I'm sure he knew it when he ran, as a proved tower – builder, against floating sands and the satanic Hillary-fan-club.

America is in psychiatric treatment since 2014 by the spirit of the north.

April 14 was a peace of the art of political wisdom, 'taking two to tango
above the triggers of the planet's doom

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:34 pm UTC
London to Pressure Financially Russian Businessmen With Assets in UK – Reports

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201804151063587256-uk-russian-oligarchs-assets/

US to Impose Sanctions on Russia Over Support of Assad – Envoy to UN

https://sputniknews.com/us/201804151063584536-haley-us-troops-syria/

More sanctions against Russia to be announced on Monday – Haley

https://www.rt.com/usa/424212-us-sanctions-russia-haley/

Hank on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:35 pm UTC
Saker, no it is not over by a long shot. Haley again today (it appears she is running US foreign policy by herself) says empire gonna sanction Russia again via Treasury tomorrow. It looks like empire trying to ride the false flag chem thing to build a coalition of the "fools" against Russia or some kind of mass movement to give them cover for military action. They are furiously trying to bring massive pressure on the Russian leadership so they will back off and let them have Syria, admit US is almighty god and so they can then go after Iran. It seems US and Brits so knocked off balance by Putin and his election victory and weapons announcement that empire frantically trying to reassert that they and only they are the "decider" of right and wrong and what is moral and immoral. This will go on all of April and into May as Trump backs out of nuke deal with Iran. Then things will really get ugly and fast. And that doesn't even factor in North Korea.

I notice that Russian MOD states that the "allies" were configured to launch 300 missiles not the 110 that were sent. He indicates that they had poor planning and that no one was in charge. But, it may be that they have decided to come back for another hit when the next false flag chem attack is perpetrated probably soon. The chem thing is all they have that is working for them and that isn't much. I finally got emails announcing anti-war protests by ANSWER and I hope they will continue. I have been to some strong street actions with ANSWER in the past although impacting these monsters is nearly impossible.

I agree with you that Russia should flood both Syria and Iran with anti missile systems and they should do it now.

It looks like the Duma gonna finally sanction the US back with some pretty good things including stuffing US "intellectual" property rights in the US ass by turning Russian companies loose to use patents without paying license fees. They can also fuck up US space program and rocket programs.

Actually, Saker, I think what US empire is really up to is to create enough mass hysteria globally that they think they can build some kind of "coalition of the truly stupid" to attack Russia and take it. I honestly think they are that stupid and desperate. Because if that is not it then at some point they are going to have to back off, admit defeat and be seen as the losers they really are. They just don't have the basic decency to do that.

Best

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:44 pm UTC
Yes you are right about the U.S. intention to create mass hysteria , and a " coalition of the truly stupid."
The lead item on RNZ news at 5 a.m. this morning referred to the silly little girl who is currently P.M. of N.Z. condoning the U.K. /France / U.S. strike; presumably she will also support the Israel strike against Iranian assets in Syria.
Every day , the lies and propaganda start in NZ, and are halfway around the world before the truth gets out of bed.
Count on it. Thank you Rupert.
eagle eye on April 15, 2018 , · at 7:14 pm UTC
And Rupert's whores are at it in Australia as well, reporting on the grovelling snot bag Turnbull's obsequious offering of more Australian lives to lubricate the Anglo Zionist machine. I say lets put his kids in the first jet to attack Syrian positions and see if he still thinks it is worth the cost.

http://www.themercury.com.au/news/world/australia-poised-to-step-in-on-syria/news-story/8b6fbf8de47d22a197a9ce002cefcc77?utm_source=The%20Mercury&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial

Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 12:31 am UTC
In 2001 Australians have marched in their thousands to protest the imminent strike on Irak.
Today they blabbered non stop about the the 'tampered ball' and protesting the punishment of the cheaters and hounding the pedophile clergy.
lizzie dw on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:35 pm UTC
I appreciate your comments but do not share you perceptions. Reportedly, the USA informed Russia before they dropped the bombs. Does that make sense? Reportedly, they bombed a factory which has not been in use since 2013. Reportedly, either no one was killed or 4 unfortunate civilians were killed. Reportedly, no Russian personnel or equipment was affected. Reportedly, the 3 attacking countries dropped 103 bombs and 71 or 73 or whatever were intercepted, yet the USA said the complete opposite. "We are confident ..". Amazingly, the USA has developed a bomb, or a method of bombing, which, if it hits a factory producing chemical weapons and therefore is full of lethal substances, will not, repeat not, dissipate these into the air, thereby insuring that no one will be affected!!! (emphasis mine) I agree that some people might think that the attack actually did something, but who are they? Nobody I know. My perception is that people working in the our government are isolated and out of touch and they are the ones who had to be satisfied(?). I also think that Mr. Trump is so surrounded by liars that he can trust no one. He stated he wanted the US to leave Syria, then, shortly after, the USA performed this inane bombing attack. Maybe this is Mr. Trump's response to the immense pressure I think he gets from those around him. It was very confusing but certainly did not make me feel that our country is great again – I am just embarrassed. I feel very badly for the citizens of Syria who unfortunately live in a country located in the center of the world, surrounded by all that gas and oil.
ProtoSec on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:43 pm UTC
I have seen reports that said they did, and I have seen reports that Moscow was furious because they were not given notice on the deconfliction channel.

Its anyones guess which version is the truth,

metamars on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:39 pm UTC
"The western general public is so terminally zombified that false flag attacks can now be announced 4 weeks in advance"

Even though you live in the US, you seem sadly out of touch with what Americans know and believe. "America" is NOT your blog audience, any more than "America" is Donald Trump and the US State Department.

I found out last Thursday that my own mother took seriously the idea that Assad gassed people in Douma. So, yesterday I asked 4 of my coworkers what they thought about the US led missile attack. I was actually more interested in finding out whether they believed Assad had any culpability in Douma.

It turns out that everybody approved, including a guy that I knew for a fact was a Trump supporter (who, as a candidate, would not have approved of meddling in Syria, or at least pretended to be such). This particular guy explained by asking a question: "If you saw your neighbor beating his wife to a pulp, would you jump in to stop him, or just stand around and let it happen?"

The sense I got from everybody is that intervention was a moral act. Most zombies that I have seen in movies are, at best, amoral (assuming they have no agency).

Consequently, you are misusing the term "zombified"!

The appropriate term is "brainwashed". They believe in a pseudo-reality.

That is why the absence of a 4th category in your graph is potentially tragic. You are missing the category of communication/education, which would encompass benign (truthful) propaganda and benign (truthful) psyops, targeting the American public directly (American elites more indirectly). While this was better done as prevention, the resultiing de-legitimization of the American War Party could be thought of as retaliation.

To a person looking at things in a detached manner, prevention (going forward) is better than retaliation (looking backwards), but such considerations are secondary to solving the problem of the ignorance and brainwashing of American citizens. Doing so would provide at least fertile soil for the emergence of corrective political pressure from the bottom, up.

Do you SERIOUSLY think your own efforts, plus Russian government efforts in the form of rt.com and sputniknews.com, are sufficient to deprogram and educate Americans? (There is no disrespect for you efforts intended by asking this question.)

Then please do the following: learn how to use the video feature on your smart phone, or tablet; then do a walking video poll of passersby on some crowded street near you. (You probably won't be allowed to do so in a shopping mall, but it might be worth a try.) I suggest you use the same technique I used when doing a video poll of TPP awareness amongst the public (which proved, to my satisfaction, that polls showing popular acceptance were a complete fraud; most American HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE TPP, Pew notwithstanding). I asked people "May I ask you 1 yes/no question?" About half the people won't give you the time of day, even for that. Of those that do, maybe 1/3 will be interested in talking about it; typically, they they will ask the same question of you.

Afterwards, tabulate the results, upload the video to youtube, and write it up here.

Better yet, do this and ask you audience to do the same. Then, include the links to their youtube channels in your write-up.

You should try to get your results (which are almost sure to be similar to mine) to the Russian government, because they act AS IF they had the same viewpoint as you.

Putin could reach millions of Americans by tweeting to @realDonaldTrump, but doesn't bother. I have to wonder, why? If he assumed that the American public are all "zombies", instead of containing moral but brainwashed citizens in their 10's if not 100's of millions, then his lack of action would make more sense.

He'd be wrong, but at least his actions would logically follow from his mistaken notions.

DannyO on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:44 pm UTC
It is over. It was over in 2000 and the hammer came down in 2006. With the defeat of the anglo/zionists in Lebanon by Hezbollah it marked the beginning of the end for the occultists. Hezbollah was not actually fighting the iof but rather the combined forces of western zionist imperialism. And they won.
Iraq, Libya and now Syria are a direct result of the ouster of the baby killers from Lebanon. The chaos in the ME – the Arab bullshit spring – the propping up of the gulf monarchy muppets is panic mode by the zionist oligarchy. There is no policy only blind reactionary behaviour – this is evidenced even in the propaganda of the MSM which not only makes no sense but speaks continuous transparent lies.
The west has been forced to use moderate and not so moderate head chopper orc mercs to fight its battles. Proxy war by orc is a sign of desperation and with the collapse of the hegemon on the horizon.
The Russians and the axis of resistance is simply trying to mitigate the damage that the oligarchy can still do and keep the US and the western vassals from imploding.
Izaates bar Monobazeus on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:49 pm UTC
I think the UK is exhibiting signs of genuine fear because it has dawned on the UK elite after the miserable performance of their Three Amigo's missile strike that Russia has a special present for instigators of ww3.

The great harlot is going to fall. A smoking ruin no man will ever wish to tread. England has whored itself to the gallows.

ProtoSec on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:36 pm UTC
Mystery Babylon comes down in one hour.
One hour, that is all.
Francis Lee on April 16, 2018 , · at 2:07 am UTC
Yes, I also think that Russia is reserving a special treatment for the UK. Unfortunately I live in London!
Den Lille Abe on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:50 pm UTC
N, it is not over, that much , we agree on. But the Chinese, I believe are not short sighted nor are they stupid. The will probably not do much for Syria, but I think they will raise their voice immediately if Russia is seriously threatened. China knows if Russia falls, she is next. Iran knows this too. So I cant see other than these three will have to stand together. But other may join India, possibly, Pakistan, possibly. And possibly further some smaller countries.
But I am 100 % certain that in all these countries, the people, the knowledgeable of the people, we know that if we end up, in a unipolar world, we will be slaves and remain slaves, forever.
And those countries I just summed up are more than 3 Billion.
Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Who knows. But
Better die standing, than live crawling.

I think you underestimate how hated and despised the US is around the world. In most of the non western world, the United States story of oppression and murder is very well known and it is not forgotten. But fear keeps people in bondage, and the US has shown it will spare no excesses to reach its goal, so when the battle comes it will be long bloody and brutal.
And yes it will come.

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:25 pm UTC
From today's Global Times editorial, semi-official organ of the Chinese politburo:

"However, the stronger a country is, the greater the responsibility it has to maintain world peace and order. The military actions of the US and its allies have breached the framework of the United Nations and violated the foundation of modern international relations. If the will of Washington and the West represents the will of all mankind and they can punish whoever they want, why do we need the UN, or international law?

Without UN authorization, the US, UK and France behaved like rogues. No matter how touching the excuses they find for themselves, they cannot change the fact that they were lynching Syria without due evidence "

More of this in the UNSC please.

[Apr 18, 2018] Russian show with Yakov Kedmi really surprised and disturbed me

Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Paul II on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:40 am UTC

What about a fourth type of retaliation, cleaning out the financier/Zionist/pro-Western/liberal infestation inside Russia? This wouldn't require China's approval, and would lead to a much healthier and stronger Russia in the long run.

In my view, China has done far more to get itself out of AZ control and on the path to pursuing its national interests than Russia has. It is depressing to read most Russian blogs as they keep harping on what needed to be done years ago.

Martin Giuffrida on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:12 pm UTC
Yes and this Russian show with Yakov Kedmi really surprised and disturbed me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwYcItJp4O8&t=1s

[Apr 18, 2018] More on the Skripal/Douma false flag connection

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Neve | Apr 16, 2018 3:52:13 PM | 2

Two great links at OffG

"The Skripal event and the Douma "gas attack" – two acts in the same drama?"
http://off-guardian.org/2018/04/14/the-skripal-event-and-the-douma-gas-attack-two-acts-in-the-same-drama/


"More on the Skripal/Douma false flag connection"
http://off-guardian.org/2018/04/15/46325/

[Apr 18, 2018] Chinese position of Douma false flag

Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:55 am UTC

The Chinese newspaper the Global Times agrees with the Saker:

"Washington's attack on Syria where Russian troops are stationed constitute serious contempt for Russia's military capabilities and political dignity. Trump, like scolding a pupil, called on Moscow, one of the world's leading nuclear powers, to abandon its "dark path." Disturbingly, Washington seems to have become addicted to mocking Russia in this way. Russia is capable of launching a destructive retaliatory attack on the West. Russia's weak economy is plagued by Western sanctions and squeezing of its strategic space. That the West provokes Russia in such a manner is irresponsible for world peace Western countries continue bullying Russia but are seemingly not afraid of its possible counterattack. Their arrogance breeds risk and danger."

Graeme - Australia on April 15, 2018 , · at 5:28 pm UTC
Yes, I also follow the Global Times editorials, and have friends in China

Simon Chow nails it, in my opinion

America is playing checkers (or some other child's game). Russia is playing Chess, and we know how good they are at that. China is playing Chinese Chess and that is fking impossible to understand for a westerner subtle does not cover it .. and China has the father (godfather?) of all generals and military strategists, Sun Tzu . go figure

I agree, the fat lady is out there somewhere warming her vocal chords.

Sarmis2014 on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:30 pm UTC
Talking about chess In my humble opinion all the suffering and foreign occupation of Syria could end in less than a month if Russia would have the guts to threaten (behind closed doors or overtly) that if the attacks and occupation of Syria will not stop Russia will provide the weapons necessary to nullify the military superiority of Israel to all relevant enemy of Israel and of course to Syria. The timed leak in the news that Russia considers providing S-300 to Syrian is a good start but obviously not firm and strong enough, According to Paul Craig Roberts "to restate the point once again, the passivity of the Putin government in the face of Washington's aggressiveness is leading directly to nuclear war and the end of life on earth". I think Russia can be "passive" by not attacking US but can be very engage by threatening were it hurts the most the safety of Israel. Cheers
Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:33 pm UTC
It is an old metaphor. I think it was used on Atimes years ago: Americans play Monopoly, Russians play chess. Someone added (it could have been me) and Chinese play Go! That was a response: Americans play poker, the game of the 'achievers'. The response was: Americans play poker with loaded dices' and if their bluff is called, they pull the gun and 'take it all'. If I am not mistaken, the verbal joust originated in Australia!
Graeme - Australia on April 16, 2018 , · at 1:13 am UTC
Yes, Go 围棋

From the rules:
• Sacrifice: Allowing a group to die in order to carry out a play, or plan, in a more important area.

Interesting

From the Global Times

'Drill a warning to secessionist forces'

The news that the People's Liberation Army will conduct live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Straits on April 18 has shocked Taiwan. It is a clear warning against recent pro-independence activities on the island, especially head of Taiwan's administrative authority Lai Ching-te's advocacy for independence.

Secessionists should not fantasize that the US will come to their rescue, even though the US had passed the Taiwan Travel Act. National unity is in the core interest of China, which is determined and capable of shattering any foreign intervention. Once Beijing decides to take action, it won't be stopped by any other force.

We believe that if the mainland were to take a military strike against "Taiwan-independence" forces, Washington would have no effective means other than protest.

The planned military drills will be a reconfirmation of Beijing's bottom line. Let the bombing and shooting drills alert Taiwan, rather than letting them actually occur on the island. The mainland does not wish to end the Taiwan question with a military showdown, however, how the situation develops depends on how much rationality remains in the Taiwan administration.

The Ukraine, North Korea .. Sth China Sea .. Syria

Russia, cold war
China, trade war

America is somewhat busy at the moment.

Could it take on a direct confrontation over Taiwan?

I think Syria is too strategically important to be 'allowed to die' .. but, then, I cannot play Go

Interesting ..

Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 1:56 am UTC
What about the 'rumors' that China will build a base in Vanuatu? "We would view with great concern the establishment of any foreign military bases in those Pacific Island countries and neighbours of ours," Mr Turnbull said. Ahem!
Graeme - Australia on April 16, 2018 , · at 4:20 am UTC
Yes, I wonder what Mr Turnbull would say if it was America doing the same thing?

Oh that's right . does not need to . already has a base here in Australia

Although, Australia has little choice, I believe. We still need a big brother. Although that is getting very very complicated.

Australia's geography will determine its future .. IS determining its future

Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 10:54 pm UTC
Australia has a 'Big Moma' already, the owner of it, actually.
Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 2:36 am UTC
Could America take on a direct confrontation over Taiwan?

If Taiwan is 500 kilometers off the coast from California, America just might give it a try. But alas, Taiwan is 500 kilometer off the coast from Fujian Province. Only a deranged America would take the bite. Let's see if America is deranged. Lately there are signs it is down that slippery slope.

Graeme - Australia on April 16, 2018 , · at 4:30 am UTC
What I meant, is the China is choosing its timing and confrontation very carefully

America is the next door neighbour who has watched the plum ripen every day, fearing that pesky Chinese neighbour will steal it and eat it

Not being careful, or just being plain dumb, the American knocked over a hornets nest and and now too busy dealing with the angry hornets to keep an eye on the plum

Timing is everything

[Apr 18, 2018] Voting in UN on Russian resolution

Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Serbian girl on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:17 am UTC

Excellent analysis by the Saker!

Here is a list of the non-permanent members of the UNSC: (the year indicates the end of their two year term)

Bolivia (2018)
Côte d'Ivoire (2019)
Equatorial Guinea (2019)
Ethiopia (2018)
Kazakhstan (2018)
Kuwait (2019)
Netherlands (2018)
Peru (2019)
Poland (2019)
Sweden (2018)

Every single country (!) on this list- except for Bolivia – abstained in the latest UNSC vote to stop aggression against Syria Russia, China, Bolivia voted in favor. USA, UK, France vited against. With just ONE vote the resolution would have passed

Kazakhstan is a member of the SCO..why did they not join Russia and China to support this resolution?? I am beginning to think the SCO is just hype.

One thing's for sure: I'm going to miss Bolivia when their term ends this year

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 1:28 pm UTC
Incorrect analysis.

The resolution was never going to pass. The US, the UK and France all posses the veto power of a permanent member of the UNSC. Thus, it does not matter how many voted in favor. The resolution was defeated.

I think I remember seeing at least one statement from another country that said that there was purpose of voting in favor of a veto'd resolution. Why bother. Especially when the US is infamous for blackmailing and armtwisting nations that vote against them. It was only a few months ago that Nutti Nikki declared the US was 'taking names' of those who opposed the.

There isn't any reason to vote for a resolution that is already and certainly veto'd. Actually, you see this alot also in bodies like the US Congress. Once a side has the votes to know they won (or lost), then a single vote doesn't mean anything. Thus a congressperson can vote a way that pleases the voters (or the lobbyists) and know that they are doing so with no impact on whether the measure passes or fails. You sometimes see members of congress voting for and against the same bill so they can take either position in the next campaign!

Serbian girl on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:20 pm UTC
Anonymous, you are of course correct. It's the SC and not the GA so any veto will bring down the resolution. Thank you for correcting my mistake. I also understand perfectly your point about tactical voting.

However:

It would send a powerful message to the empire (and the world) if Russia were not so isolated in her diplomatic efforts, even if a resolution is vetoed!..As Saker mentioned above noone seems to care about the higher values of international law. By keeping a low profile and abstaining these countries are basically confirming that there is no diplomatic way to stop the aggression.

tomo on April 15, 2018 , · at 6:36 pm UTC
what is happening to Russia funnily reminds me of what happened to me as a kid – I was maybe 9.
there was a bully in our neighborhood park where we used to play – he was 3 or 4 years older than most of us. He used to beat all of us individually (I was the youngest in the group) – but then I would come behind him when he was not looking and hit him with a brick etc.
so one day all the kids gathered (not sure whose idea it was – not mine – but I approved and joined them) and agreed to circle the bully and at 1..2..3..we were all to jump at him and to start beating him I thought it was a great idea.
so we went there and did that – 1..2..3 – I jumped on the bully and started kicking him – only to realize that everybody else just stayed where they were. I was the only one fighting him Even my brother didn't join me.
I hope the same thing does not happen to Russia – but if it does – just be prepared – and never trust psychopathic Anglo – west
Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 1:33 pm UTC
Bolivia has a democracy that has elected governments that actually favor their people over corporations, and god forbid, that don't favor foriegn (American) corporations over their own people.

Thus, the US has already declared Bolivia an enemy. They don't seem to be number 1 on the American kill list, but they are already on the list.

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 1:46 pm UTC
At this point in time, the UNSC is blocked to both sides. Neither side can pass a UNSC resolution against the other. One side had 2 and now 3 vetos. The other side has 2 vetos. Nothing is passing.

Which means that neither side can claim UNSC sanction for their wars. Which in turn really makes any war illegal. Not that any of the Axis of Evil care about that. For the record, Trump violated the US Constitution in two ways (at least) by attacking Syria, thus, if the system were honest, he would now be impeached. Of course, the system is not honest, but it is highly rigged.

Since Russia and China don't seem to be starting any wars of aggression, that lack of ability to get a UNSC certificate for wars of aggression won't matter much to them. But, also don't expect them to pass anything condemning the Axis of Evil through the UNSC.

The UNSC is now only for making speeches. Both sides then use these messages in their psyOps operations. PsyOps is the right word because both sides now view propaganda as warfare by other means.

Vietnam brought forth the term "hearts and minds." That's what they psyOps wars are fighting over. The hearts and minds of everyone. Or at least those who are paying attention, and of course getting more to pay attention to your psyOps is a part of the battle as well.

The UNSC is thus a tool in these psyOps wars. The Russians make their case. Nutti Nikki screams, rants and threatens. Each is then used as propaganda both at their own people at home and at the rest of the world. It will stay that way as long as no one repeats the Soviet mistake of the Korean War era and gets so fed up with it that they don't bother to show up and cast their veto.

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:17 pm UTC
One interpretation of these comments is that diplomacy is just a bunch of fancy talk to create fodder for psyops. While NATO and other military organizations may view it that way, from another perspective, making speeches in a public meeting like this, where a resolution is on the line, can serve to entrench or resolve conflict. As part of a larger diplomatic strategy.
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 12:37 am UTC
The 'hearts and minds' concept originated in the Malaya campaign in the 50's–counter-insurgency–and it was never about hearts and minds, it was about 'killing people in order to save them'– a precursor of 'humanitarian intervention' –basic BS, in other words.
Part of the so-called psyop then was head-chopping of communist Chinese by the British soldiers, I seem to recall.
Francis Lee on April 15, 2018 , · at 1:55 pm UTC
Kazakhstan is one of the founding members of the Eurasian Economic Union. But it has always made its position clear that its membership is based upon economic and not political union. So its vote was not all that surprising. It's called hedging your bets.

[Apr 18, 2018] Possible sup ply of Russian S300 to Syria

Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Lysander on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:48 am UTC

Saker,

Russia has a lot of options and none of them involve attacking US/NATO forces directly. And General Rudskoy already hinted at one of them, the S300 to Syria and to possibly some other countries. A great idea, but only one of Russia's options.

Following from that, the first thing Russia should do, a long with Iran, Hizbullah and Syria, is exactly what it has been doing: securing more and more of Syria. Since the last time AZ axis did this, Syria's situation on the ground is much improved. By the next time they try, it will be much better still. Eyes on the prize.

Next, the S300. Russia has to impose a painful cost to the enemy without triggering a war. That's where Israel comes in. Russia needs to help Syria (Russia should not do this herself) to bring down a handful of Israeli jets and capture their pilots alive. You will see immediately of the situation changes once 2, 3 or 4 of those most precious of souls are captured. Your head will spin. They will trade whatever they have to to get them back. Capturing American pilots would not have anywhere near the same effect. And British or French pilots? Don't make me laugh. Nobody really cares about the hired help.

Russia also has the option of soft retaliation. The empire has troops all over the world and faces insurgencies in many places. I'm just sayin'. Sometimes accidents happen when you are fighting insurgencies.

Believe me, I understand how disgusted you are by the situation. But this has been Russia's role in the world forever. Defending Europe and the world from the mongols, the Prussians, the Swedes, Napoleon, the Turks, Hitler has earned Russia zero gratitude. But nevertheless, many of us see. Even I, who am not a Christian, can see the analogy clear as day.

Amir on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:36 am UTC
Sinking gas/oil platforms of Levithian field by "unknown assistants" might be a similar "symbolic" response. Similar to US attack of uninhibited buildings, this response by a third party against an ally of US (nominally ally, in reality the master) would send the message, without too much of a risk.
pogohere on April 16, 2018 , · at 8:24 pm UTC
Your comments about the Israeli reaction to the loss of its planes and the capture of their pilots is right. Read the Israeli press and especially the comments that follow the stories. Israeli hubris is not to be believed. The commenters (much less the article authors) can´t acknowledge that US missiles were shot down (albeit, with integrated modern radars, electronic interference, etc, acknowledged) by Syrians with Soviet era junk.

[Apr 18, 2018] The USA bombings do not hinder the progress of the Syrian army

Notable quotes:
"... Yes it is annoying that USA keeps bombing Syria, and yes it ruins the lives of the families that lose loved ones in such attacks. But they do not hinder the progress of the Syrian army. Which likely will have wrapped up everything that is politically easy to wrap up in Syria this year. The border with Israel, Idlib and the kurds being the last more politically difficult parts. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:40 am UTC

The consequence has not come yet. Those that expected that Russia would sink every American vessels and fire of off thermonuclear weapon at Washington, has no real connection to reality.

Such an action would be the dream of neocons and liberals in the western world. Russia will win as long as they can avoid a full on attack on Syria by USA and getting themselves dragged into a conflict with USA or one of its clients.

Yes it is annoying that USA keeps bombing Syria, and yes it ruins the lives of the families that lose loved ones in such attacks. But they do not hinder the progress of the Syrian army. Which likely will have wrapped up everything that is politically easy to wrap up in Syria this year. The border with Israel, Idlib and the kurds being the last more politically difficult parts.

In reality, Russia and Assad won from this attack I think, it made them look good internationally, it made USA look bad, Trumps supporters are in an uproar right now.. This is not like last year when the democrats supported his attack and his base kinda thought it was acceptable..

This time everyone thinks Trump is a lunatic, even his most fanatic supporters such as Alex Jones that has been being over backwards to protect Trump have lost hope in him

Here Alex actually cries when he finds out what Trump did
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Myz5vBDPH6c

When Russia unified with Crimea, it lost the international moral initiative which it had, now, it is absolutely regained it. This attack while it caused no damage to Russia or the war effort for Syria also gives Russia an excuse to do whatever it wants back.

The consequence of the USA strike could be something like.
1. Giving Syria better and "forbidden" in the style of S400 or S300.
2. Giving Syria more and more advanced pansirs.
3. Giving Syria advance anti-ship missiles, enabling them to take out every USA ship off their coast.
4. Arming groups that oppose USA over the world state actors or non-state actors, either covertly or openly with advanced weapons.
5. Revealing classified information about USA that perhaps USA got Russia to agree it would not reveal. Could be anything, proof perhaps that the USA gold reserve is empty perhaps that USA did 9/11, anything really.
6. A purge of USA backed fifth columnists inside of Russia.

The consequence will be something alone the line of causing long term severe consequence for USA but causing no problem for Russia or even being beneficial.

"Russia's ambassador to the U.S. warned there would be "consequences" for the strike on Syria, and that a "pre-designed scenario" was underway."
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/13/russia-warns-of-consequences-for-us-led-strike-on-syria.html